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Blog 2: Giving Up by Going Down


January 30, 2022 by woodjm

This clip of the film Kuhle Wampe consists of the sequence in which the family’s eldest son jumps from their apartment window to his inevitable death below. It is important to note that before he jumps a mural that reads “Don’t blame the morning the brings hardship and work. It’s wonderful to care for those one loves.” appears on the screen. This combined with the manner in which he gingerly places his watch down, his only valuable possession. Asserts, in my mind, that he is doing what he believes is necessary to take care of his family by reducing their financial burden. This is also supported by the way in which the only source of light in the entire scene is coming from the window. Almost as to say “come to me I am you and your family’s salvation. While this could then be seen as a valiant deed, the son is more or less giving up. Giving up is something that I would assert in the film’s greater narrative is frowned upon. It is viewed so negatively that the family is depicted as a group of lushes that are so poorly adjusted that the daughter has to move away for her own sanity. This I believe is a roundabout way of asserting that giving up, whether by suicide or complacency is not the answer to one’s problems. In fact, the movie seems to assert to me that work is the answer no matter what the question is.


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