The Tin Drum : Summary

Length: 145 Min. Format: 35mm Colour

Premiere: 03.05.1979, Berlin, Mainz, Wiesbaden (FBW "especially valuable")

Awards:
IFF Sydney 1980 (1. Award)
IFF Mailand 1980 (Premio San Fedele)
Academy Awards 1980 (Oscar, Best Foreign Language Film)
IFF Belgrad 1980
David Wark Griffith Award 1980 (Best Foreign Language Film)
German Film Award 1979
IFF Cannes 1979 (Palme d'Or)


1924. Oskar Matzerath (David Bennent), a precocious child, is born in the "Free City" of Danzig. Already as a little baby within the arms of his mother, he begins to observe the world around him with scepticism. The boy's third birthday leads to serious consequences: he stops growing in protest to the nature of the world around him. While both mentally and physically he continues to develop as a man, his bodily appearance automatically creates a distance between little Oskar and the "adult" world. Henceforth, he looks at the adults from the optical perspective of a child and finds them to be nothing but a huge monstrosity reaching its political climax in National Socialism and the Second World War. Oskar is given a small metal drum on his birthday and drums out his protest against the world. His rhythmic drumming even throws Nazi marches into confusion. Before long, he discovers that he can shatter glass with his screaming and uses it as another weapon in his child's rebellion. In a world where the young man Oskar is seen as a simple-minded child, he has both the touch of genius and something diabolical about him. He drives both his presumed fathers to death as well as making a career as an artist, performing for Nazi troops on the front while still remaining scornful and distant. Oskar personally lives out the entire chaos in the world and only ends his boycott on growth when the Germans are defeated and banished from Danzig at the end of the war.