A wall is a thankful movie set. It functions as the quintessence of dissociation, separation and protection.
Some monumental history movies discuss more than only the archaic functions, for example when the Greek Army is standing in front of the city walls in „Troja“ (2004). In „Monty Python’s Life of Brian“ (1979) the martyrdom of the protagonist, among others, takes place outside the walls of Jerusalem. As is known, the crucified people can get something out of this awkward dissociation by singing the song ‚Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. In the fictitious historical movie „King Kong“ (2005) walls with gigantic proportions, standing on Skull Island, have to serve as a bulwark for the supposed beast.
The metaphysical meaning of the before and the after was fathomed out in „Destiny“ (1921): a border crosser takes a woman´s lover by walking through the wall of death; it is the death itself. The musical work „The Wall“ from Pink Floyd had an emotional effect for me which nothing could have shaken. The movie of 1979 with Bob Geldof as ‚Pink‘ established itself as an independent work; a young person with one´s confined life feels understood for the first time. „The Wall“ (2012) is an extreme compression leading to the situation that a wall, which holds up a women in the loneliness of the austrian mountains, remains invisible. The actual movie „Maze Runner“ (2014) leaves a trail in the shape of a premise: What could be if? What if a young person without a memory awakes on a clearing surrounded by a labyrinth of huge walls which are not to overcome? The novel came out as a trilogy, so we have to wait for the next movie in the style of a gigantic cliffhanger.
There has been such a wall.
She hadn´t been in our head. She was almost impenetrable. „Coming Out“ (1989) was the last movie shot behind this wall; on the day of the première the wall ‚fell‘. „The Tunnel“ (2001), based on a true story, shows an adventurous, alternative way to escape the deadly shots at the German domestic border. Wim Wender´s angels Damiel und Cassiel were other wanderers between those worlds in „Wings of Desire“ (1987). Without this movie the german wall may haven´t been noticed as a synthesis of the arts. „The Man on the Wall“ (1982) makes it easy for himself: he had recruited himself for the secret police in order to get to his beloved. It was never clearer to see what this building is: a grotesque. One could think that Billy Wilder has already recognized this in „One, Two, Three“ (1961), but the plot of this movie needs an open sector border. Still during the shooting the building of the wall was started.
Apparently an offensively acting contact with the subject was necessary shortly after the reunification of Germany: the title-giving street in „Sun Alley“ (1999) is divided by the state border and is caricatured as the youthful life in the border area, in „Good Bye Lenin!“ (2003) the turn was delayed to spare the ill mother. In „Heroes Like Us“ (1999) a member of the Stasi is responsible for the wall-opening on many ridiculous ways. But also in the crazy wit a farsighted forefather can be found: Wolfgang Menge was the author of the movie „The Dubrow crisis“ (1969) which questions the Status Quo and slams a former East German village to the west with a sudden new measurement. In fact some elementary difficulties of the German reunion are anticipated here fictitiously. An idea of the abysses being isolated delivers „Fuhrer Ex“ (2002). The hopelessness produces an unsuccessful attempted escape and flows into neo-facistic ideology.
A very narrow german cinematic perspective at the wall. However, it is not a historical german paradox. In „Omar“ (2013) we experience a protagonist who has to get over the archaic isolation wall on the Palestinian-Israeli border in order to get to his lover. Finally he has to stoop as an informant to avoid serious consequences. „Baraka“ (1992) proves that an archaic wall can be beautiful, if the time has come for it – Ron Frick´s movie about beauty par excellence. He shows a special wall, a bulwark for the protection of the first Chinese emperor Oín Shǐhuángdì: the terra-cotta army, the biggest grave arrangement of the world.