Sunday, March 1, 2009


"Metropolis" was a rather interesting film. It was a silent film, which made it a rather long two hours but it presented a lot of ideas of the 1920s. Even though, the film was written by Germans, it was able to be connected to American society. Americans were experiencing economic prosperity after World War I but there was still a great deal of class separation: working class and business class. Women were still battling for equality even though they were granted with the right to vote. Evidently, in the film, the woman was name "Hel," which portrayed how women were seen throughout this era. Men did not see women as equals plus women were abandoning their original roles of raising the children and staying at home.
Women were "rebelling" by becoming more provocative with their outfits and actions. This was portrayed in the "eternal gardens" of the film or the "upper world." After all, this was the era of the flappers. The film also expressed the political corruption unfolding at the time. There was a great deal of power lying in the hands of the elite, not in the hands of the working class. The film presented the battle between capital and labor.
When the film reached the United States, it had been altered, which I think allowed the movie to hit home for many Americans. After all, many Americans took offense that the film was belittling the importance of mass production, especially with the help of Henry Ford. Americans felt society was improving but little did they know it was going to collapse soon enough. It was almost too good to be true. The 1920s were definitely transitional years in American society and the World War played a role in these changes. Businessmen were making continual efforts to prevent rebellions yet it was bound to happen this relates to how Americans were trying to unionize. The film depicts a situation where the group of factory workers join together as one.
As a read through Chapter 24 about the 1920s and then related it to the film, it was interesting to see how many parallels I could find! I was not expecting to be able to write a paper that used a film as a gateway to researching a period of time. Apparently, the world was not blind to the changes happening even if it was across an ocean.

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