Red Storm Over The Village (Frisians in Peril) DVD (Frisennot)
“Nazi cinema’s most venomous anti-Soviet propaganda film!”
Few political films made during the Third Reich were accorded the distinction of being distributed by the Goebbels Propaganda Ministry. Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and Peter Hagen’s Friesennot (Frisians in Peril) were awarded the distinction in 1935 because of their overtly propagandistic content. Hagen, whose real name was Willi Krause, had been a film reviewer for Der Angriff, Goebbels’ newspaper. He then joined the Propaganda Ministry, where he soon became a leading film critic. Krause used the pseudonym of Peter Hagen when writing and directing films. Friesennot dramatizes the plight of peaceful Germans from Friesland, who lived in an isolated village on the Volga River in central Russia for generations. Their slumbering, bucolic existence is shattered by the invasion of a cavalry detachment of the Red Army. A brutal Red Guard defiles, rapes, and kills a young village girl, and when drunken, carousing troops desecrate the village’s house of worship, the outraged Germans revolt. The picture’s main purpose was its overt, virulent, anti-Soviet propaganda: “You’ve returned to your homeland. Foreign soil has made you sick.” This perfectly encapsulates the film’s underlying values: Heimat, Blut und Boden, Volksgemeinschaft. Critical reaction was strong from the moment the picture premiered on November 19th, 1935. When it debuted in New York in 1936, one newspaper called it “one of the best made and most impressive talking pictures ever turned out in Germany or anywhere else.” The film was in constant distribution and was often shown to the Hitlerjugend, (Hitler Youth) until August 23rd, 1939, when Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; the picture was then quickly banned. When Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, occurred on June 22nd, 1941, the film was retitled Dorf im roten Sturm (Red Storm over the Village) and reissued to continued acclaim.
Directed by Peter Hagen. With Friedrich Kayssler, V. Inkijinoff, Jessie Vihrog. 1941 reissue, retitled Dorf im Roten Sturm (Red Storm over the Village). Germany, 1935, B&W, 96 Minutes, German dialogue, English subtitles. Digitally remastered from 35mm print for superb picture quality.
DVD Special Features:
Historical Background Video Essay:
- Third Reich Cinema: Anti-Soviet Propaganda in Peter Hagen’s ‘Friesennot’” by R Dixon Smith
Original Promotional Materials Slideshows:
- Film Kurier & Tageszeitung w/Eng. Translations
- Posters & Press Photos
- Gaufilmstelle Presentation
- Censorship Card
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)