A scathing social satire
Closing the Festival is the celebrated classic 1931 film version of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, which itself rivals the adored Weimar-era theatrical sensation.
German auteur G. W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box, 1929) places audiences firmly in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London alongside our underworld anti-hero Macheath (Mackie, or “Mack the Knife”), a vicious, amoral thug who sees himself as nothing more than a legitimate entrepreneur. When Macheath marries Polly Peachum without the permission of her father, Jonathan Peachum, the “beggar king” of London and a fellow businessman, a bitter rivalry ensues.
The selection complements Festival screenings of the recent Mack The Knife - Brecht’s Threepenny Film and its brilliant depiction of the controversy surrounding the making of this famous movie production. With its palpable evocation of corruption and dread, set to composer Kurt Weill's irresistible score, this original cinematic interpretation remains a benchmark of early sound cinema.
Please note the film screens in German with English subtitles.