Wolfgang Staudte was renowned as a critic of post-war German complacency. This gripping wartime story is full of acid commentary on his countrymen: a picture of collective failure in Nazi Germany and collective denial in the Federal Republic, as it has been called.

It starts when a funfair is being built, and a corpse is discovered. Everyone in the small town in the Eifel knows who the young man was and why he died. 15 years earlier, at the end of World War II, a Wehrmacht soldier (Gotz George) deserts after being forced to massacre civilians and tries to find a hiding place in his native village. His family are afraid to help him, since the Nazis have decreed death for those harbouring deserters – but he is sheltered by a priest and a young French woman (Juliette Mayniel) who works in a cafe. When the town is evacuated, it seems the war is almost over.

International title
The Fair
Filmmaker
Wolfgang Staudte
Country
Germany
Year
1960
Medium
35mm
Length
102’
Language
German
Producer
Harald Braun, Helmut Käutner, Wolfgang Staudte
Production Company
Freie Film Produktion
Sales
Beta Cinema
Writer
Wolfgang Staudte, Claus Hubalek
Cinematography
Georg Krause
Editor
Lilian Seng
Production Design
Olaf Ivens, Ellen Schmidt
Sound Design
Hans Ebel
Music
Werner Pohl
Cast
Juliette Mayniel, Götz George, Hans Mahnke, Wolfgang Reichmann, Manja Behrens, Fritz Schmiedel, Erica Schramm