Flaming Hearts (Flammende Herzen)

“Peter Huber, the owner of the station newspaper stand in a small village in northern Bavaria, wins his dream trip to New York, the prize in a magazine competition. The big city swallows him in a single gulp. While wandering lost through the streets of New York, he meets Karola Faber, a German girl, whom a G.I. had brought back to the States some years previously. She's now at the end of her tether and wants to kill herself. Peter Huber saves her and they embark on a romantic relationship. At an October fest among the German immigrant population, they are crowned Cornflower King and Queen. Their prize is a Bavarian milk cow named Bessie. But what do you do with a cow in the middle of Manhattan?” (Programme--Berlin Festival)

Flaming Hearts pursues a theme that seems to fascinate a number of German contemporary filmmakers: the German in America - the European, product of the Old World, confronting the technology and the culture of the New World. In Herzog's Stroszek and in the opening of Wenders' Alice In The Cities, the German in America is lost and helpless. In Fassbinder's The American Soldier and in Wenders' The American Friend, America's influence is shown as it operates on the German within his own country. Flaming Hearts has the added twist of showing a country person confronted by the big city. Lighter than the above-mentioned films, it is both moving and very funny.

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