January 27, 2022 by pearsonkl
In the clip I selected, the daughter of the main family of the film (Annie) hears her boyfriend (Fritz) call for her from below as she is getting ready to meet up with him. She walks to the window to let him know she is coming. After she leaves, a shot of a sign is included which reads: “Don’t blame the morning that brings hardship and work. It’s wonderful to care for those one loves.” We then see a shot of her brother turning and looking deadpan into the camera, which is an odd thing that many movies actively try to avoid. But Brecht does it on purpose. I found this odd because I would usually consider a character looking at the camera to be the character trying to connect with the viewer, but I know that Brecht’s filmmaking style actively tried to not appeal to the emotions of the viewer. The brother is contemplating the act he is about to commit thoroughly and the moment he looks to the camera, that is Brecht’s way of showing us he has made up his mind. The inclusion of the sign beforehand is the brother’s thought process (the use of montage). He figures that it must be his own fault that he can’t find a job to support his family, not the floundering job market.
The brother walks to the window where Annie just called to Fritz from and looks through it. I think Brecht purposefully had both characters look through the same window. Annie was looking to her future (or what she wanted to be her future) with Fritz while her brother is looking to his future (death because the feeling of failing his family due to not being able to find a job).