LeuchtfeuerThe Beacon

Retrospective, DDR / Sweden 1954, 95 Min., ger. OV

The winter of 1901 is harsh, and the residents of a barren fishing island off the Swedish coast run out of food. They send a boat with three men out to search for food on land, in vain. As their plight becomes increasingly desperate, the villagers put their hopes into scavenging goods washed up on the beach from shipwrecks. The lighthouse keeper eventually gives in to their pressure and, one night, he extinguishes the lights. But the ship that smashes into the cliffs is not the hoped-for freighter … “The Beacon” uses expressive black-and-white cinematography and true-to-life natural imagery to tell the story of a crime committed out of deprivation. It was originally planned as a German–German co-production. But after the West German economics ministry raised objections, the East German DEFA studio partnered with a Swedish production company to make this sombre, existential drama. It was filmed in the Pater Noster archipelago, including in Marstrand.

Director Wolfgang Staudte

Screenplay Wolfgang Staudte, Werner Jörg Lüddecke

Festival Contact Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Potsdamer Str.2, 10785 Berlin, Mail: info@kinemathek.de, Web: www.deutsche-kinemathek.de

Cast Leonhard Ritter (Leuchtturmwärter), Horst Naumann (Mastfischer), Waltraut Kramm (Frau des Mastfischers), Jochen Thomas (Masträuber), Ursula Kempert (Frau des Masträubers), Friedrich Gnaß (Mann mit Prothese), Hans Klering (Kaufmann), Ulrich von der Trenck (Schnapsfischer), Maria Wendt (Frau des Schnapsfischers)

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No screenings are available for this film.