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The Second Track (1962)

Annekathrin Burger , Albert Hetterle , Joachim Kunert  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Annekathrin Burger, Albert Hetterle
  • Directors: Joachim Kunert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010YSDBI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Second Track" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

A landmark for its frank portrayal of East German complicity in Nazi crimes. Uncanny touches borrow from the venacular of Hollywood's subversive Europeans: Sirk, Preminger and Wilder. --The Boston Phoenix

Crisp black and white photography and an unusual score (zither plus electronics) add noirish intensity in this terse, effective work. --San Francisco Bay Guardian

Product Description

Station inspector Brock is witness to a robbery. When he fails to report one of the culprits, he experiences flashbacks to his earlier failure to take a stand against Nazi persecutions years ago. The Second Track is the only East German film which explores the theme of former Nazis leading normal lives in the GDR. This sensitve subject matter was one reason why the film was rarely shown in theaters. Remarkably expressive images and black and white photography intensify a story about guilt, repression and oblivion, making this film a true discovery.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daringly honest for its time December 26, 2008
Format:DVD
If "The Second Track" seems less than a comprehensive look at public complicity with inhumanity in the Reich, it nevertheless makes compelling inroads on a supremely difficult subject in postwar Germany.

All the archetypal characters take their place: The anguished father, who did his terrible duty and has never recovered; the martyred mother, who alone is a clear and completely sympathetic character, paying with her life for her heroic but fatal goodness; the consistently depraved catalyst, whose ideology drags him through a life of unhappy dodging and costs him everything along the way; the young lovers, innocent of the past but doomed by it, too. One might include the viewer of 1962, who perhaps would rather not have known this story but must wrestle with its implications on a very personal level.

The father, by finding, ultimately, the courage to confront his own past, can be forgiven for his grim adherence to duty, and the daughter, it is suggested, comes to blame the times, the Nazi evil, instead of her father's part in her mother's death. Six million Jews are represented by just the one, whose straightforward death from a pistol shot symbolizes almost antiseptically the ghastly truth.

The film has been compared to the work of Hitchcock, and though it is a suspense movie, its moral and political dimensions go quite beyond anything Hitchcock did. It manages to transcend its own context, telling us important things about how parents spin the past to their children. What did your parents, or mine, cover up to protect us children and our concepts of ourselves?

"The Second Track" may seem tame by comparison to "Schinlder's List" and other films, but seat yourself, mentally, in a theater in Berlin in 1962, just 17 years after the liberation of the camps, and you can hardly escape a chill.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars coming to terms with shame and guilt in post-nazi Germany December 28, 2009
By Rox
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree with the Carl B. Strange and Amos Lassen reviews. This is an excellent movie. It is in black & white and in the style of early 1960's films. I did occasionally feel as if I were watching a Hitchcock film - maybe "The Birds" - but for me, that was only the visual style.

The film was well-developed with a good pace, exccellent actors and well-established plot development. It was thought-provoking and for me, unique in it's willingness to tackle the topic of examining the German population as they look at themselves after the end of World War II.

It was interesting that the villain here does not look very Arian, though.
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