Steinzeit zum Mitmachen
Besucherpavillon, im Hintergrund ein Baum und Berge

7 Movies and television

The pile dwellers made it to the big screen in the 1920s.
By this time, the initial wave of enthusiasm had died down 
and the audience had clearly pre-formed ideas. 
Nevertheless, three films were made in "the golden 20s".

Federsee became the location for the 14-minute film "Haus im Wilden Ried" in 1920.
The producer was the founder of the Prehistoric Research Institute, Robert R. Schmidt.
The scenes in the film show everyday situations such as
making fire in the oven, pottery or tool making.
Men, women and children wear leather skirts and have bare upper bodies.
The men with half-length hair are remarkably well trained.
All the actors seem very well-groomed. Only one older protagonist has a beard.
The Stone Age settlement depicted is a marshland dwelling.

The movie "Die Pfahlbausiedlung in Unteruhldingen" was made in 1926/27. 
and was shot for seven days in the reconstructed houses on Lake Constance.
The footage from UFA (Universum Film AG, 8 minutes 30 seconds) 
served as part of another production called "Nature and Love". 
It is also noticeable here that all the protagonists are dressed only around the loins, 
both men and women. The children wear no clothes at all. 
All the actors and actresses have blond hair, 
a symbol of superiority according to the already established racial theory.
The idea of the pile-dwelling settlement on a platform later turned out to be false.

Another movie entitled "Die Wasserburg in Buchau" was made in 1927. 
At the same time, excavations were being carried out by the Prehistoric Research Institute in Tübingen,
led by H. Reinerth. The 11-minute movie was scientifically accompanied by him.
The movie documents the hard work of the excavations
and was a kind of an "image film".
It was intended to popularise the work of the archaeologists.

All the reconstructions in the movies - the scenery - 
were based on direct excavation results and corresponded to 
the current state of research at that time. 
The type of staging, however, reflects a romanticised past,
especially in combination with the type of life portrayed.
Nevertheless, one recognises in the productions of the two films. 
"Das Haus im Wilden Ried" and "Die Pfahlbausiedlung in Unteruhldingen"
have an educational purpose: they show tools and the skills of "the ancestors".
In fact, however, a common tradition is propagated under the guise of an educational film,
celebrating the achievements and technical innovations of the pile dwellers. 
Thus, the film seals a direct line from the pile dwellers to the 20th century.
This extension of the "line of tradition" was welcomed by the German public 
and also accepted internationally.
The shock of losing the First World War was followed by 
social misery, inflation and economic crisis. 
In a Weimar Republic plagued by crises and political instability, 
it is not surprising that people sought refuge 
into the safety of ancient traditions.
 

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