People on Sunday

Menschen am Sonntag (PG)

Germany, 1930, Dir. Billy Wilder, Robert Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann

Festival of the Future City/
Sun 06 October 2019

Menschen am Sonntag (PG)

Germany, 1930, Dir. Billy Wilder, Robert Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann

People on Sunday
Sun 06 October 2019,

This magical blend of documentary and fiction takes us back to a glorious summer Sunday in late-1920s Berlin where five young workers take a day off. While they enjoy freedoms undreamt of by their parents, sexual rivalry soon lends an edge to their flirtations.

The people portraying the characters were all amateurs belonging to a Berlin collective who, the opening credits inform us, had returned to their normal jobs by the time of the film’s release. They included a taxi driver, a record seller and a wine-seller. This revolutionary experiment in realism was the collective effort of several future Hollywood directors, including Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann.

The original negative of the film is lost and no complete copy exists. This restored version was reconstructed by The Eye Institute in the Netherlands and the 2K scan was digitally restored by Deutsche Kinemathek. It will be presented with live piano musical accompaniment by Meg Morley and introduced by Mark Bould, Reader in Film and Literature, University of the West of England.

This film is part of Festival of the Future City – an initiative of Festival of Ideas. Festival of the Future City takes place every two years in Bristol celebrating and debating the future of cities with talks, walks, debates, arts projects and new books. The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene in the series: Cities, Future Cities and Film. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this programme. See the rest of the Festival of the Future City film programme here.

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Further details of the 2019 Festival of the Future City programme are here.

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