One of Germany's most essential anti-fascist filmmakers, Peter Nestler started his filmmaking career making poetic but clear-eyed documentaries in Germany's industrial regions, a period to which we pay tribute with these six beautifully restored versions of all the films.
Nestler's first films looked at the changing face of rural Germany, whether in the Ruhr or along the banks of the Rheine, documenting the transformations heavy industry brought to the regions on a massive scale. His are some of the most vital documents of the era of the early '60s, a deeply uncertain period in Germany history, and certainly some of the most purely beautiful. Few filmmakers can claim Nestler's powers of observation: the microscopic rituals and gestures of these farmers and labourers, factory workers and winepickers, boatmen and housewives, become something overpoweringly human in his work. That fact above all is what makes them quietly, deeply political.
We cap off our 6-film tribute to Nestler's early work with From Greece, a history and a living document of Greek resistance, both to the Nazis and, at the time of its making, to the military junta that deposed a duly elected Greek liberal leader and then took power shortly after the making of the film. It is with this work that Nestler's political focus became clearer and more explicit, and which, thanks to insinuations in the press, led to his exile from Germany to Sweden, where he has lived and often worked ever since.
Available from January 31st, 2022, worldwide excluding France and Benelux for certain films.
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