Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


This unique film had its big première on September 23, 1927 in the city whose soul it attempted to describe: Walther Ruttmann´s “Symphonie der Großstadt” is a semi-documentary showing its subject not as a collection of logically and chronologically arranged images but as a living organism, whose understanding requires not so much seeing it as feeling its atmosphere.
The final cut of Ruttmann´s work – whose script he wrote together with Carl Meyer and Karl Freund – was ready in June 1927 and comprised almost 1.5 kilometres of film: each centimetre a unique and invaluable document of day in a life of a metropolis which Berlin had grown to be. Sadly, the film´s musical score, written by an Austrian composer, Edmund Meisel, for this otherwise silent movie, no longer exists – only the piano part survived.
Here is a full version of “Symphonie der Großstadt” with the 1993 score created by Timothy Brock. Take a seat, relax and sink into the world of the pre-WWII Berlin on a sunny day like today: from Anhalter Bahnhof to Unter den Linden to Rotes Rathaus and the tenements of Kreuzberg and Moabit, from factories on the outskirts to the elegant parks in the city´s centre.
After you have returned from this journey, you will never see Berlin with the same eyes again – the old Berlin will be for ever shimmering through.
Happy Easter!


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