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German History in Documents and Images
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Scenes from Metropolis by Fritz Lang (1927)
With its groundbreaking special effects and elaborate sets, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was the most expensive film ever produced and almost bankrupted UFA studios. Lang’s subject is a futuristic city where workers toil below ground, and the managers who control them live in luxury above. The film, one of the last of the silent film era, examined contemporary anxieties about class relations, gender issues, and technology. While the film’s revenue and reviews were rather modest when it opened, it set completely new aesthetic and technical standards and went on to exert a major influence on 20th century popular culture.