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Something to Do With the Wall (1990)

Ross McElwee , Marilyn Levine , Ross McElwee , Marilyn Levine  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.95
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Something to Do With the Wall + Photographic Memory + The Ross McElwee DVD Collection (Sherman's March / Time Indefinite / Six O'Clock News / Bright Leaves / Backyard / Charleen) (Five-Disc Collector's Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ross McElwee, Marilyn Levine
  • Directors: Ross McElwee, Marilyn Levine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002HOP43A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,556 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Something to Do With the Wall" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1986, Ross McElwee and Marilyn Levine first shot footage on the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's erection, when the imposing structure was still very much intact as the world's outstanding symbol of the Communist hard line and Cold War lore. They thought they were making a documentary on the community of tourists, soldiers, and West Berliners who lived in the seemingly eternal presence of the graffiti emblazoned eyesore.
But in 1989, as the original film neared completion, the Wall came down, and McElwee and Levine were in Berlin again, this time to capture the radically different atmosphere of the reunified city.


Another blithe chapter in Ross McElwee's continuing and extremely uncertain relationship with history... Reporting of a most pertinent and genially eccentric order. --Vincent Canby, NEW YORK TIMES

[5 stars] Spins an exquisite web that holds one enchanted. --Video Rating Guide For Libraries

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great documentary March 20, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Before the rise of reality tv and the popularity of documentaries in the aughts, documentary film-making was made up of a relatively small group of dedicated people. I went to school for documentary film-making in the 90s and loved McElwee's movies. The pacing is a lot slower than what we are now used to (in my opinion). And in his movies there are a lot of moments to really think about what it going on.

So when watching "Something to Do with the Wall" at first I had to re-acclimate my mindset to a slower more pensive one. But as the film unfolded I saw that the footage he and his wife got was really mesmerizing. When they shot at the wall in '86 and '89 it was such a momentous time. You really feel the simmering dissatisfaction in '86. It is a perfect time capsule. And in '89 it is so fulfilling to see everyone chipping away at the wall. The sounds of the hammers and the smiles popping through cracks in the wall from the Eastern side are really moving. This film a great way to really get a sense of what it was like in Berlin in the '80s. (At least one facet of it.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Documentary December 22, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was in Berlin in the 80's. Everything in here was factual and well presented. Even saw a character I had forgotten all about. Would recommend this for anyone who has an interest in the Berlin Wall.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great February 24, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Just as Tarantino will likely never surpass Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, nothing Ross McElwee ever does will equal Sherman's March, but now that he's collaborating with his wife, his films have taken on a new dimension. They still retain the dry humor and wit exhibited in his other films, though. McElwee fans will want to own this.
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Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is another just another documentary of many about the Berlin Wall. It lacks of professional filming technics . Content is as sad as every thing related to the Wall and the suffering of Berliners can be. This clearly shows how authoritarism doesn't care about people. It should never happen again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars October 8, 2014
By Karen
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Very good documentary
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