Super 8mm | 2 x 180m/600ft | B&W | German sound
Print condition: VG | Plain box
Das Stahltier [The Steel Animal] is a German dramatized documentary from 1934, directed by Willy Zielke. The film was commissioned by the Deutsche Reichsbahn (the German railway operator) to commemorate their 100th anniversary.
The film features a modernist, expressionist style – think rhythmic editing, angled shots – and is now viewed as a landmark in documentary history. At the time of its creation, reception was less than lukewarm. The Reichsbahn had expected a straightforward propaganda film which it was not, and its experimental, artistic style was not received well by the Nazis. The film wasn’t shown publicly and it was eventually forbidden.
After the war, at the request of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (the new German railways), Zielke created a shorter version of the film, which was widely shown. It’s this version which has been transferred to the super 8 print on offer.
In the first 10 minutes or so of the first reel, the sound level is low, so the volume really has to be turned up and there’s some distortion. Apart from this, a very good print of this rare and fascinating film.
The film comes in a cinebook, with front and back covers of the original packaging pasted on.
Released by Video-Archiv-Film, Liechtenstein.