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Something to Do With the Wall

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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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.

Review

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

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002HOP43A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Something to Do With the Wall" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon 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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
A good documentary! With real connections to what life was around the wall, this is valuable to hear and see from people and look at the wall both before it came down, during it coming down, and also afterwards.
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By S. Jones on 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 Video Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed watching this movie. There is no narration, just footage of real people. The footage showed a great array of people and personalities, with many memorable quotes. It was not a 'traditional' historic documentary, but rather one that shows life and people as it existed. The people in the movie are so memorable, I would love to see a follow up to see how everyone in the movie is doing 25 years later. Highly recommended for people who want to gain insight into what Berlin was like at the very end of the wall's existence.
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Format: Amazon Video
This is like a home movie from the mid to late 1980s of happenings around the Berlin Wall. Its kind of folksy and personal, almost a documentary, but really more of a scrapbook of memories. It does a good job capturing the atmosphere of the time, the people, the clothing, the grittiness of the city near the wall. The fact that its not a big budget documentary is exactly what makes it interesting. A lot of fun for anyone who was there or whose interested in what it was like in Berlin as the wall came down.
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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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Format: Amazon Video
This is 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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Living in Berlin from 1985 to 1887, it was interesting to see the changes the fall of the wall brought in 1989.
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