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Veit HarlanThe Life and Work of a Nazi Filmmaker$
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Frank Noack

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167008

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167008.001.0001

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(p.229) 18 Opfergang
Veit Harlan

Frank Noack

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter contains an extended analysis of Opfergang, Harlan’s most highly regarded film, which has been one prestigious UFA melodrama among many for decades but in the 1980s gained a cult following among young cineastes, turning up in best-film polls. As a piece of relentlessly slow cinema, it is years ahead of its time, as is Harlan’s explicit interest in transgender themes, zoophilia, frigidity, and fetishism. Kristina Söderbaum on horseback, shooting arrows across the beach, has become one of the iconic images of German cinema. For the last time, Harlan reflects on the conflicts he endured with his father, his second wife Hilde Körber, and Söderbaum. He comes as close as ever to an uncommercial art film, though wherever Opfergang is shown, it is a success with audiences.

Keywords:   art film, best-film polls, cult following, fetishism, frigidity, iconic images, slow cinema, transgender, young cineastes, zoophilia, Opfergang

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