POLIZEIBERICHT ÜBERFALL accompanies a man during the day when his life threatens to go completely out of control because of a coin that he finds by chance on the road. Two crooks dog his heels. “ÜBERFALL goes far beyond any other film of its time in that it rebuffs the police – an otherwise calming symbol of authority in German film. Although ÜBERFALL depicts chaos, it does not accept any submission to authority as a way out. The truly heretical character of this film is confirmed by the censor’s severe reaction.” (Siegfried Kracauer in: From Caligari to Hitler, 1947). The film was banned in April 1929 by the censor on the grounds that it was “brutalising and demoralising”.
SONO YO NO TSUMO Superficially about a crime, the film is primarily a work of empathy: Like many other films from Yasujiro Ozu’s early phase, SONO YO NO TSUMA explores a social issue – a hallmark of many Japanese films of the 1930s. As was the case in Japan’s visual arts or literature of the time, cinema often also focused on people’s economic misery caused, in many cases, by the Great Depression. In this regard, the film resembles not only the “shomin-geki” – contemporary popular dramas that Ozu made at the same time – but also the image worlds of the Weimar “street films” of which Ernö Metzner’s POLIZEIBERICHT ÜBERFALL is one, and which should be considered as avant-garde because of its formalistic eagerness to experiment.
The films will be accompanied by live piano music.