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The Architects (1991)

Cast: Jurgen Watzke
Director: Peter Kahane
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Studio: First Run Features
Genre: Foreign, Political Satire
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French, German
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This is a social satire made in the last days of East Germany's existence. It pokes fun at the elephantine and humorless way the ever-present bureaucracy thwarted even the tiniest manifestations of originality. In the story, an architect tries to get approval for a contract which will put him in charge of a major city project. If he can get it, his career will be assured. Before he can get very far, however, political events make a hash out of his whole situation. Other architects also try to get their projects through the bureaucracy and devise countless ways to try and slip something meaningful or original past the dutiful and hard-working guardians of the status-quo. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Why Russian Communism Failed by talltale June 9, 2005 - 9:52 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
"Interesting" is such a loaded word, often used as description for something that isn't all that good. THE ARCHITECTS, however, is interesting for many reasons, and it's a lot better than "good." If you enjoy the film, watch the interview with the director in which he explains the history of the movie and what happened in Germany at the very time he was filming.

Although East and West Berlin are now re-joined, I believe this movie will stand the test of time as a fine combination of art, humanism and politics. If nothing else, the film demonstrates one of the major reasons for the fall of Communism, as practiced by the USSR: it served the needs of the majority of the people even less than does Capitalism. (I hate admitting this, but it appears to be true: All the "theory" in the world is no help once "practice" sets in--due to our species' penchant for power and unending greed.) "The Architects" tracks a group of relatively young, still somewhat idealistic title characters trying to create an East German "mall" that will be practical, useable and exciting, while their leader, amidst this process, tries desperately to hold on to both his work and his family.

Beautifully acted, written and directed, this is one of the better German films I have seen--and one of the few that I suspect will remain with me. Much darker than "Goodbye Lenin" (which I also loved), "The Architects" will likely leave you as frustrated and empty by movie's end as are its protagonists. But I doubt you'll regret your time spent here.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.35)
17 Votes
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