. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

The Patriot (Die Patriotin)

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | October 14, 2004

Thursday, October 14, 2004, 7:45pm


History teacher Gabi Teichert is looking for something. She sets out, spade in hand and begins to dig. Deeper and deeper she digs, determined to uncover German history at last. She is fed up with simply feeding her pupils German events in chronological order, from crusades to Stalingrad, as directed by the curriculum. “German history was so moving that it cannot be propagated in a positive sense,” in her opinion. She feels compelled to improve the basic material available for history classes, such as by exerting a direct influence on the spot at a SPD party conference. She is a practical person, curious and incredulous, looking for concrete evidence and not afraid of dirtying her hands during her private archeological digs, carrying out alchemistic experiments in her “witches kitchen” or using tools to attack fat volumes of history. The Patriot is the most perfect demonstration of master filmmaker Alexander Kluge’s theories and a film that totally refuses to bow to narrative cinema’s linearity and casualty, even refusing a stringent account of its contents. Instead, it presents different perspectives, attitudes, opinions and actions in order to encircle Kluge’s central theme: the development of a new awareness of history. In German with English subtitles (Marli Feldvoss/Daniel Eisenberg). 1979, Alexander Kluge, Germany, 121 min, 16mm.