Under the Bridges

Under the Bridges

Unter den Brücken (Original Title)

Hendrik and Willy are both co-owners and crew of a towing barge. They sail the Havel, have girlfriends here and there, and dream of something “more permanent”. One evening, they see a girl, who apparently wants to jump into the water from a bridge. Both of them hurry to stop her and are “disappointed” to discover, that Anna just threw a 10 Mark note in the river so as to be free of an unpleasant memory. Well, at least she can be persuaded to sail with them as a passenger to Berlin. It doesn’t take long before the two friends both fall in love with her.

1h 39min
March 23, 1945
Admin comments

This is one of the best films made in the poetic realism genre directed by one of the greatest cinematographers, Helmut Käutner. This work reminds me of early Fellini masterpieces. Helmut truly was a great maker of great films about common people. In most of his films Helmut Käutner succeeds in creating a world of his own, a sort of microcosm that holds only the people that we see on the screen. He did also excel in historical costume epics, but his forte was a simple, intimate film about what goes on in the soul. His storage of empathy and his skills to share it are bottomless. This film has a good story (the right mix of romance and comedy) good actors and beautiful images. Almost anyone can identify with at least one of these archetypal main characters, whether it is the "Damsel in Distress" Anna, the "Loner with a Heart of Gold" Hendrick, or the "Nice Guy" Willy. Helmut Käutner’s hypnotic videography intensely tunes in to the river locations and its charming serenity. It also captures the open expressions on the naive lonely barges, who think they have the perfect life but know in their hearts that they are missing something, such as the love of a good woman.

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