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Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame 1969
Description: I’m an Elephant, Madame ( Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame) follows a class of high school students in 1968 Bremen during their last year at school, their lessons, their protests, their personal life. Focuses in particular on the troublemaker & provocateur Rull who in his apolitical chaotic method takes on both the authoritarian school administration and the leftist protesters.
Released: 06 Mar 1969 Director: Peter Zadek Writers: Wolfgang Menge (screenplay), Robert Muller (screenplay), Peter Zadek (screenplay), Thomas Valentin (novel) Actors: Heinz Baumann, Wolfgang Schneider, Guido Baumann, Margot Trooger Genres: Drama, Comedy
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Ich bin ein Elefant, Madame Reviews:

This comedy drama is a fascinating reflection of its time - its changing values and attitudes, how society reacted to it, how various individuals managed to adapt. The category description "comedy drama" is not entirely accurate, but it's the closest I should think of. There is no drama/comedy plot in the usual sense. We follow a class of students in their last year at school (6th form is the nearest UK equivalent), their lessons, their protests, their personal life. There are a several opportunities when the movie drifts from realism beyond wackiness into surrealism, and surprisingly Margot Trooger is one of the director's favorite cars for that.The end product lacks some coherence, but it is full of powerful and saying moments. The method Dr Nemitz elegantly rebuffs a classroom revolt, the English teacher discovered as a lightweight, Rowedder parking his jeep (complete with communist flag) directly in front of a no-stopping sign - these are just a several of many memorable scenes.I think of the movie with considerable private fondness: it was filmed at (and in) Altes Gymnasium Bremen, the very school I went to three years after this movie was made. The style of the lessons portrayed in the movie so accurately reflected the particular (and admittedly somewhat peculiar) style prevalent at this school that Zadek either gotta have watched true classes at the AG beforehand or used teachers and students from this school as advisors, if not both. There is evidence for the latter: I can assert that the dispute which students are allowed to go to the baker's store (and when) was still going on for years to come.



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