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The Motif of the Automobile in Helmut Käutner’s In Those Days
Louise Dumas

By focusing on Helmut Käutner’s In Those Days/Stories of a Car (In jenen Tagen, 1947) this article analyses the role of the car as a cinematic object. The automobile is the narrator of Käutner’s film: by giving voice to an object to discuss the Third Reich, Käutner raises – as it is often the case in the ‘rubble films’ – the question of objectivity when dealing with the recent past. At the same time, through the motif of the automobile, which Käutner uses a reflection of and on cinema, the director questions the role that the filmic medium can or should play in postwar Germany.

Film Studies