“Schultze Gets the Blues”

“Schultze Gets the Blues” tells the story of a miner called Schultze who worked and lived for years in a dismal region of opencast mining in Germany. Mining is not profitable anymore, so today over twenty percent of the people in this area are unemployed. To solve this problem they retire the pitmen early. Schultze and his friends Manfred and Jürgen are left to their fate.

As a pensioner Schultze’s future is without prospects. His life consists only of pub, garden plot, fishing and folk music. For years he has been in a folk music club and has played his accordion there and at polka festivals. Polka is a type of dance music that was created in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia. It is a popular type of Czech folk music and also still part of German folk music.

While his friends are left with nothing, he discovers a new world. At one evening, he is already in his bed but stands up to eat something; he turns on his radio and changes the frequency inadvertently. He hears zydeco and is suddenly gripped by this totally different music. He begins to play zydeco on his accordion. At a folk music festival he plays zydeco with his accordion and his music ends in a tumult, the people want to hear their folk music as they usually do.

Nevertheless his folk music club nominates him for a journey to Texas to present his music in a concert there. However, he decides to leave this event without any presentation from him because it is more narrow-minded than at home. He rents a small ship and sails with his favorite music along the Mississippi. Some days later he meets a family who lives near to the river. He goes dancing with them, later in that night Schultze dies happily from a stroke.

“Schultze Gets the Blues” shows that the future is not as bleak as it seems. This movie is about eastern Germany, but the situation the movie describes is similar to the situations in many other regions of the world. There, nearly all factories are closed, and as a result many people are unemployed. Ultimately “Schultze Gets the Blues” is a music film. You will hear many kinds of music from different cultures with different ways. At the film festival in Venice the film got a special award for best direction. I like this movie for its scenery. For example there is a location where you can see Schultze going to his job in the beginning of the movie, and in the end of the movie his friends go the same way to his burial. The location of takes repeats, but every time the scene has a totally different message to the spectator.

The story was written and produced by Michael Schorr. He is known as producer of documentaries, it was his first film that was shown in many cinemas. Concerning to the high artistic value the project was sponsored by Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, and Kulturelle Filmförderung Sachsen-Anhalt. In fall of 2002 the film was shot in Saxony-Anhalt, Louisiana, and Texas. Horst Krause performs the main character Schultze. He worked for more than twenty-five years for theaters. Other actors are Harald Warmbrunn (Jürgen) and Karl-Fred Müller (Manfred).