Chapter arrangement

This book has been set up thematically, which enables me to study how different directors captured certain aspects of the war, and if and how a cinematic approach of the same theme changed over time. It is very interesting to compare a navy film such as Unsere Emden from 1926 with the remake done in 1932, Kreuzer Emden, however short the intervening six years may seem. The Weimar Republic was subject to major changes in these years. The same is true for the press reactions to both films. During that period, the films and the critical reviews not only prompted discussions about the war, but also about the time in which they were made, the Weimar period. This is why the chapters also address issues such as the war debt, national historiography, memorial services, war monuments, rearmament, the rise of war literature and other issues that are associated with the films.

As was said earlier, the chapters in this book have been arranged themati-cally. The themes relate to specific aspects of the war. However, this principle of thematic arrangement is not entirely unequivocal. After a chapter that sur veys the first three decades of German film history, with a strong emphasis on historical films, the following chapters discuss the films that have been researched for this project. The second chapter deals with films that represent the run-up to the war, and the third chapter discusses the 'war documentaries'. Since two of those documentaries give a filmed account of the entire war, the history of the war is shown predominantly from a German perspective. The other chapters follow a less chronological order. Chapters 4 and 5 deal with films that are tied to specific locations, films that are set on the mainland and films where the action takes place at sea. The final chapter deals with the issue of gender in war films by discussing the representation of the home front and the images of femininity and masculinity that the war films construct. The study closes with a concluding epilogue.

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