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People on Sunday

Director:

1929. Black and white. 85 mins.


Filmed in a semi-documentary style, this 1929 silent film covers twenty-four hours in the lives of a group of Berliners on a day’s outing, including a taxi driver, a salesman, a shop assistant and a model. Still amazingly fresh and funny in its depiction of sexual mores, the film is of considerable historical significance. Apart from providing a fascinating glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin, People on Sunday was one of the first movies to renounce stars, drama and other paraphernalia of commercial cinema in favour of a non-professional cast and an everyday story of ordinary people. The film also provided a showcase for a number of writers, directors and assistants who would later have distinguished careers in Hollywood, among them Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann and Billy Wilder.

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