In the Dust of the Stars


[Im Staub der Sterne] RDT, 1976, colore, 35 mm, 1975′
di Gottfried Kolditz
Sceneggiatura Gottfried Kolditz – Fotografia Peter Süring – Montaggio Christa Helwig – Musiche Karl-Ernst Sasse – Interpreti Jana Brejchová, Alfred Struwe, Ekkehard Schall, Milan Beli, Silvia Popovici – Produttore Helmut Klein

Made a year or so before Star Wars, this East German space action film is an entry in that surprisingly rare form of science fiction in which Earth is never mentioned, but the universe is inhabited by humanoid cultures with made-up-sounding names. A spaceship from the planet Cyrno arrives on the planet Tem 4 in response to a plea for help sent out years before, only to discover that the Temians don’t seem to want any help. While the stalwart crew, led by sensitive Captain Akala (Jana Brejchova), fall under the spell of their hedonistic hosts, suspicions lurk that there’s something amiss and it turns out the apparent native people are in fact exploitative invaders who are forcing the Tiri, the real indigenous people, to work in a huge mine. It could easily be construed as an allegory of the clash between capitalism and communism, with the Cyrno folk aiding the insurgents in starting a revolution .The resources of an Eastern Bloc collaboration (Romania was a partner in the production) allow for impressive settings like the eroded deserts and huge mines and screen-filling mobs of slave extras.