September 2018, arsenal cinema

The DEFA Foundation presents: Music: Hanns Eisler

DIE HEXEN VON SALEM, 1957

Apart from a national anthem and over 500 songs, Hanns Eisler also composed important piano, chamber and orchestral music. In addition, he worked for radio, cabaret and the film industry in Hollywood and Babelsberg. We present two works from the DEFA Studio for Feature Films: Erich Engel’s’ last film GESCHWADER FLEDERMAUS (Bat Squadron, GDR 1958) in which the unscrupulous General Lee (Wolfgang Heinz) uses his squadron in France’s war against Vietnam not only to transport the injured but also munition. And Les Sorcières de Salem (The Crucible, Raymond Rouleau, GDR/F 1957), which was based on Arthur Miller’s play and a screenplay by Jean-Paul Sartre and draws clear parallels with the anti-communist persecution of the McCarthy era in the US. It is a dramatization of the witch trials that took place in the 17th century in a puritan settlement in Massachusetts. (jh) (3.9.)