This chapter focuses on Fritz Lang’s films from 1921 to 1922. These include Der müde Tod (The Weary Death, a.k.a. Destiny), the first original script Lang and Thea von Harbou worked on without a hovering producer, and with the sure knowledge that Lang would direct. This film, which came on the heels of his mother’s death, would be the director’s most thoughtful and compassionate meditation on mortality. The film premiered on October 1, 1921, simultaneously at two of Berlin’s luxury theaters. It was the first work of Lang’s to gain a wide European reputation and it would become a famous example of a German motion picture rejected in Germany itself that was given a second chance at home on the strength of rhapsodic foreign notices.
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