DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
HOW TO LIVE IN THE GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC (LEBEN-BRD) (director/writer/editor/producer: Harun Farocki; cinematographer: Ingrid Kratisch; editor: Irina Hoppe; Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; Facets Video; 1990-West Germany-in German with English subtitles)

 
"Boring!"

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Harun Farocki serves up a documentary from the leftist viewpoint that is a critical dissection of modern life in Germany. It's composed of thirty-two short scenes taken from instructional and training classes. Farocki's intention, which raised not a flutter in my heart, is to reveal Germany as an uptight country where nothing spontaneous occurs. Everything must be rehearsed.

The training programs include the following: children crossing the street, family disputes, demonstrations on dolls for would-be mothers taking care of their babies, testing consumer products, phobias, children being I.Q. tested by using blocks to fit in a hole, a stripper, an army training drill, and so on. 

It was boring, but might appeal to those so politically inclined to think of this stiff presentation as groundbreaking. 

REVIEWED ON 5/1/2004        GRADE: D

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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