New Release: The Patriot DVD

Facets continued its ongoing series of the films of New German Cinema auteur Alexander Kluge (Yesterday Girl) with the Feb. 22, 2011, DVD release of Kluge’s 1979 symbolic/satrirical drama The Patriot.

Directly following the omnibus film Germany in Autumn, filmmaker Kluge expanded on a chapter in that movie about a teacher named Gabi Teichert (Hanelore Hoger), who, like most of her generation, was still grappling with Germany’s terrible past.

The Patriot, also known as The Female Patriot and The Patriotic Woman, finds Gabi digging into the ground of a snow-covered landscape (a potent metaphor, to be sure). She exhumes the skeleton of a dead soldier and, to Gabi’s shock, his disconnected knee begins to speak!

As the knee narrates the film, we learn it belonged to Private Wieland, who was killed at Stalingrad during World War II. And so, the knee acts as a guide through the film’s disparate collection of documentary footage, fairy tale illustrations and fictional scenes.

Shot in black-and-white and presented in German with English subtitles, The Patriot carries a list price of $29.95.

Included as a bonus feature is the 1977 Kluge short film People Preparing the Staufer Anniversary.

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.