Ordnung (1980) AKA Order


This off-beat psychological drama by Sohrab Shahid Saless dissects German post-war society with a cutting edge. Herbert is a solid, middle-class engineer who one day quits his job and ensconces himself at home (preferably in the bathroom), refusing to say very much to anyone. His wife is all the more upset at his behavior because on Sunday mornings he goes out into the street and yells at the top of his lungs for everyone to “get up.” Eventually, the hard-working wife who is also earning their support convinces Herbert to go to a clinic for treatment, but will it change him?

Director: Sohrab Shahid Saless.
Writers: Sohrab Shahid Saless, Dieter Reifarth, Bert Schmidt.
Stars: Heinz Lieven, Dorothea Moritz, Ingrid Domann, Peter Schütze, Dagmar Hessenland, Dieter Schaad, Dieter Reifarth, Karl Luzius, Marta Holler, Kurt Schmengler, Klaus Grütz.

1980 Chicago International Film Festival – Nominated for the Gold Hugo.


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One Comment

  1. H.
    December 8, 2022

    Thank you, Jon!

    Unfortunateley, the English subs contain a vital error. At the beginning and at a later scene Herbert is shouting “Aufstehen!”, which is correctly translated as “Get up, everybody!”. But when he is shouting in the clinic for the third time, he DOES NOT say “Aufstehen!” again. In fact, he says “Auschwitz!”, but the subs say “Get up, everybody!” again (1:25’05”).

    Nice movie, of course a strong reference to Fassbinder’s “Warum läuft Herr R. Amok” (1970). My all time favourite treating this subject is “Mahlzeiten” by Edgar Reitz (1967).

    In comparison to “Ordnung” and “Herr R.”, “Mahlzeiten” is imo the most radical analysis of “social despair”, especially as at the end “love” is explicitly not presented as a solution. Rather, at the end love appears clearly as the climax of despair. (The same applies to unreflected “fast food religion” within the working classes). On closer inspection, this point (love as articulation of despair) is already shown in the very first take of “Mahlzeiten” in a brillant cinemapoetic manner. This is what makes “Mahlzeiten” much more subtle than “Ordnung” and “Herr R.”

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