The Prodigal Son
1934

The Prodigal Son

Der Verlorene Sohn (Original Title)

In this Heimatfilm, Luis Trenker plays a Bavarian wishing to flee the constrictive and provincial life of his Bavarian mountain village. He ends up fleeing to New York in the middle of the Great Depression and discovers city life to be brutal and inhuman. The contrast between the Alps and the big city is shown in the film's impressive scenes; especially those of the skyscrapers of Manhattan, which are filmed as if they were mountains of a different kind. The film ends as a paean to the village community. The disillusioned émigré returns to his mountain village during a solstice festival and finds his way back to the woman he left behind.

1h 22min
December 7, 1934
Admin comments

"This film does offer an interesting reflection on life in the 1930s. The scenes of Tonio walking around New York give an impressive picture of New York from its good and bad sides. The city has a more realistic feel to it than you can find in many American films of the time. Peculiar too is the fascinating mixture of Christian and pagan ritual in the Dolomite town. The pagan festivities have a rawness to them that one no longer experiences in the processions and celebrations of modern-day German speaking areas."

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