Kameradschaft (1931) (Blu-ray Review)

Kameradschaft (1931) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Starring: Alexander Granach, Ernst Busch, Gustav Püttjer
Rated: R/Region A/1:33/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from The Criterion Collection

An old German mine was split in two after the end of WWI because of where the new border was located. In the French part a fire breaks out; the German miners send a rescue group in, helping their French comrades. Three old German miners, who were not treated friendly at a French inn the night before, start their own private rescue through an old tunnel that separated the two mines. Will the official rescue party realize there are others left behind in time to save them?

My review for Kameradschaft is going to be a bit strange in a way. Because while I enjoy the style and will happily acknowledge that this 1931 German film is a very well made movie. It is the type of film you see award shows and reviewers tend to go on and on about due to its stylish quality and story. That being said, this tale of doomed miners just doesn’t do a whole bunch for me personally. I know it is a story that touches some and it is very well shot and done, but it just isn’t my type of film at the end of the day. We watch as these poor guys get trapped underground and we have to wonder if anyone is going to make it out of this whole thing alive or not, but I just couldn’t get invested in it no matter how hard I tried. So maybe this is the type of film for someone above my level of review but I still won’t deny the importance of it and how well it was done.

The release is still as good as you’d expect from The Criterion Collection. The movie had a France and German release and the master used for this transfer comes mostly from the France one with some of the other stuff added on to give you the complete experience of this old film. Criterion seems to be the best at taking these old movies and making them jump to HD with the best of quality and that is once again the case here. So if this movie is your cup of tea or not, you at least get it the best way you are going to get it here from them. So once again to sum it up, the transfer looks good, the acting is fine, and it is a very well-made movie. But it just isn’t my type of movie at the end of the day.

Extras

– NEW high-definition digital master, supervised by director Ken Loach, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
– Audio commentary from 2016 featuring Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty
– How to Make a Ken Loach Film, a 2016 documentary on the production of I, Daniel Blake, featuring interviews with Loach, Laverty, actors Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, director of photography Robbie Ryan, producer Rebecca O’Brien, and casting director Kahleen Crawford
– Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, a 93-minute documentary from 2016, directed by Louise Osmond
– Deleted scenes
– Trailer
– PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu

Quality of Transfer: 90%