Fifty-Fifty (Halbe-Halbe)

Uwe Brandner is one of the better directors in the New German Cinema, and his first feature I Love You--I Kill You (1970) actually preceded most of the films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Wenders in terms of an American art house release. It opened in New York in May 1972, and gained a rave notice in the New York Times. Fifty-Fifty was well received at the recent Berlin Film Festival, where the program synopsis provided the following information: “At the age of 36, Bert Maschkara loses his well-paid job in a profession he enjoys. A redundancy payment of 30.000 DM leaves him less than satisfied. He gets to know a new neigbour in the apartment building where he has a penthouse studio: Thomas Berger, ten years his junior, has just completed seven years' military service as an air traffic controller. He now has to go through various qualifying exams in order to qualify for the same job in the civilian sector. For his services to the army he has received a total of 30.000 DM. Both men are in the same situation; both of them need to start again from scratch. Although they go their separate ways about it, their paths sometimes cross. Their experiences in the two weeks following their meeting make up the story of the film.”

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