M (1931)

25 Jan 2014


thought provoking thinking

fresh perspective
layered meaning (good for over-thinking/multiple viewing)

immersive atmosphere

unexpected outcome
acceptable suspense (developments predicted minutes before)

untraceable (natural) acting

The film is equally thought provoking as entertaining (it was especially fun to recognize certain phrases since I just started learning German on duolingo).
There are fair number of generally unexpected yet predicatble within minutes outcomes such as when the gangsters decided to catch “den kindmörder” themselves. The irony of criminals wanting to catch criminals to stop police being too pressing is so very tragic and reasonable, depressing yet hilarious.
I was amazed by the alarm technologies in 1930’s post depression Germany.

Now to the main subject of discussion: what does the “kindmörder” deserve in the end.
First of all, I definitely agree with the “defense’s” note on the hypocrysy of criminals pretending to be fair judges. Still, I do personally held a point of view, which some people might even consider radical, that the kindmörder should be executed. The only value I see in keeping him alive lies in some scientific study of his claimed madness. Yet there is no evidence that such study would put us anywhere closer to a potential cure for these diseases. For instance, with all the existing real life serial murders on FBI file, all that they could deduce is some similar patterns of execution of the crimes (natürlich, Ich bin Experte nicht). It is true, however, as the film correctly pointed out at the end, that no amount of punishment can bring back the lost children’s life. Yet I would still hold my judgement on executing such offenders (publicly, and even with non-physical torture*) for the off chance that he is an excellent actor (and his in for the film btw) and giving no one else false hope in escaping verdict via pleading insanity. After all, the film convinced me that he is indeed the killer.

all in all I am suprised that a film, being such an interesting and controvsal social commentary, was released by the censorship office in the 1930’s.

*physical torture for murderer with no medical conditions