Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Dismantling the Dream Factory: Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language

View Table of Contents

Volume 9

Film Europa

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Dismantling the Dream Factory

Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language

Hester Baer

318 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-605-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-617-5 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (February 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-945-1 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…[a] fascinating study…[that] makes  a major contribution to a burgeoning field dedicated to the investigation of what was once dismissed.”  ·  Monatshefte

“...makes a significant and original contribution, is well researched as well as written, and would lend itself conveniently to the teaching of any of these films…[It] bring[s] to bear theories from Anglo-American film studies as well as German cultural studies and history. The result is a felicitous mixture of theory, cultural-historical context, and informed film readings.”  ·  Jaimey Fisher, University of California, Davis


The history of postwar German cinema has most often been told as a story of failure, a failure paradoxically epitomized by the remarkable popularity of film throughout the late 1940s and 1950s. Through the analysis of 10 representative films, Hester Baer reassesses this period, looking in particular at how the attempt to ‘dismantle the dream factory’ of Nazi entertainment cinema resulted in a new cinematic language which developed as a result of the changing audience demographic. In an era when female viewers comprised 70 per cent of cinema audiences a ‘women’s cinema’ emerged, which sought to appeal to female spectators through its genres, star choices, stories and formal conventions. In addition to analyzing the formal language and narrative content of these films, Baer uses a wide array of other sources to reconstruct the original context of their reception, including promotional and publicity materials, film programs, censorship documents, reviews and spreads in fan magazines. This book presents a new take on an essential period, which saw the rebirth of German cinema after its thorough delegitimization under the Nazi regime.

Hester Baer is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has published widely on postwar and contemporary German cinema, women's literature, and feminism.

Subject: Film and Television Studies Gender Studies and Sexuality
Area: Germany



Introduction: Postwar German Cinema

Chapter 1. The Female Gaze in The Murderers Are Among Us
Chapter 2. Authorship and Stardom in Film Without a Title
Chapter 3. Love ’47 as Woman’s Film
Chapter 4. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Epilogue
Chapter 5. Regendering Representation in The Sinner
Chapter 6. Visual Pleasure and Cinematic Realism in The Forester of the Silver Wood
Chapter 7. Gender and Sexuality in Different From You and Me
Chapter 8. Spectatorship and Genre in Engagement in Zurich
Chapter 9. Critical Strategies of The Girl Rosemarie
Chapter 10. The Bread of Those Early Years as Transitional Film

Epilogue: Adapting the 1950s


Back to Top