WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Mack the Knife – Brecht’s Threepenny Film
Dir. Joachim Lang | 130 min
German with English subtitles
Saturday, May 188:35 PM Bethesda Row Cinema
Saturday, May 258:00 PM AFI Silver Theatre
Following the phenomenal success of Bertolt Brecht, Elisabeth Hauptmann, and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera in 1928 in Berlin, the film industry is eager to underwrite an cinematic adaptation. Bertolt Brecht, however, isn’t willing to play by studio rules: his vision for the Threepenny Film is radical, political and pointed. Eventually, following a nasty legal dispute, Brecht and Weill are forced off the project altogether.
Director Joachim Lang connects his interpretation of the Threepenny story with the genesis of Brecht’s exposé for a Threepenny Film that has never been on screen. It takes the audience to Berlin during the roaring twenties, and shows how the uncompromising artists attempted to shoot a movie while bristling at cinema’s conventions all along the way.