The All-Around Reduced Personality - Outtakes (Die Allseitig Reduzierte Persoenlichkeit - Redupers)

“Helke Sander (not to be confused with another femme helmer, Helma Sanders) is best known as a leading figure in the Women's Lib movement in Berlin, editing through Rotbuch Verlag the only European feminist film quarterly: Frauen und Film. The All-Around Reduced Personality - Outtakes is her debut pic, although she is a grad of the Berlin Film & TV Academy and has done a number of shorts on femme and political themes.

“It's a film rich in nuance and perceptive judgment on the Berlin scene as a whole, which deserves to be seen and studied by both femme lib followers and polit-pic pushers, as well as by any who like the bittersweet, honest-to-a-fault bio-portrait. The title itself is a teaser: anyone who listens to radio broadcasts from East Berlin will catch the sardonic fun poked at the oft-heard, politically numbing phrase: ‘the all-around realized Socialist personality.' Sander goes meaningfully in the opposite direction: she looks upon herself as ‘an all-around reduced personality' - a candid way of saying ‘I'm not much good at anything.'

“Edda - Sander's alter ego in the film - is a photographer who must hustle the entire day taking pictures commissioned by official agencies and for sale to newspapers and magazines. She can barely make ends meet, has a school-age daughter who hangs on for more attention, and realizes that she's only half-good at everything although totally committed to several causes. A chance comes when a women's group receives a commission from the Berlin Senate to photograph and present the city through their eyes and, by extension, through the eyes of the Women's Lib movement.

“What she comes up with, as both a photographer and a filmmaker, is a depressing, tragic, realistic, but intimate portrait of a city cut in two and surrounded by a wall ‘with holes in it.' Her comments on the international status of West Berlin are both informative and pungent.... When her own commentary fails her (it's not very often) she reaches into a bag filled with quotes from former and current East German writers (Thomas Braasch, Christa Wolf) or uses film clips from pix by femme helmers (Yvonne Rainer's Film About A Woman Who..., Valie Export's Invisible Opponent, Ursula Reuter-Christiansen's The Executioner) to put a point across.
“But it's the film's easy-going style that makes it a stand-out. These ‘outtakes' from the everyday duties and determination of a working photographer ‘with both feet on the ground but the head in the clouds' are lensed and cut together with a feel for a camera's eye and with a refined ear for sound...”

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