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A team of German miners risk their lives to rescue a team of French miners left trapped after an underground explosion, in this innovative disaster film from G. W. Pabst (Pandora's Box).
Director: G.W. Pabst
A coal-mining region on the border between Germany and France. A dozen years after the end of World War I, national prejudice between the two countries still runs high. But when a gas leak in the French mine sets off a raging fire, the German miners do not hesitate to rush to the aid of their trapped counterparts, ignoring the guarded border post. At the same time, three of the miners work underground to advance towards the French side. In the mineshafts, the frontier between the two countries is marked by iron bars, but they are no match for the would-be rescuers’ determination ...
With its extremely realistic imagery, and dialogue that rigorously has the Germans and the French speaking their own languages, Kameradschaft represents a fiery appeal for cross-border reconciliation. The director, branded “red Pabst” for the pacifist tenor of the film and its socialist idiom, draws a sceptical portrait of the political future – while the mineworkers revel in their international solidarity and entertain dreams of socialisation (“the coal belongs to all of us!”), by mutual agreement, the state organs of the two countries restore the previous conditions of separation, “order must prevail!”