Ties That Bind is a movie produced in 1955 around the time when the military occupation in West Germany came to an end. The storyline involves the innocent feelings of two orphans as they struggle to save their love and stay together. Wolfgang is recruited into the army and torn away from his girlfriend Erika. The two had just witnessed the death of their entire families, and destruction of the communities. In the quest to look for a safe place to stay, they encounter the army and the General forcibly recruits Wolfgang into the army. Erika is left to fend for herself in a country full of pain, war, and despair. Wolfgang embraces the values of the army but still vows to find Erika. The war comes to an end and the army clears from the streets. Wolfgang becomes more committed than ever to find Erika.
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This film effectively uses sound effects and acting to bring out the message and essence of the storyline. The actors are excellent and seem to capture the characters’ true feelings and express them beautifully and realistically. The movie bring the viewer back to the post-war times when on Germany streets was nothing but gunfire. The disturbing sounds of wailing women and children sometimes punctuated by regular phases of deadly silence.
There are no people on the streets and the characters seem to own the scenes especially when running for cover. One memorable scene would have to be when Wolfgang is pulled away from Erika’s arms. The expression on her face and her body language alone speak volumes about her feelings. When she rolls to the ground clutching Wolfgang’s locket, tears are streaming down her face: it marks the climax of the movie. Angela, portraying Erika, displays remarkable connection to the character she portrays. The clever use of sound brings to life some of the scenes making the viewer identify with the setting. The arrival of the army into the town is accompanied with classical music, the sounds of trumpet. This takes the viewer back to the Nazi days when this kind of music was played at the concentration camps. The sound of the constant gunfire and bombing is used to bring to light the constant reminder of the ongoing war. At the same time, the battle line soundtrack brings out an emotional attachment of the viewer the the situation on the ground. The two lovebirds’ escapades before separation are punctuated with beautiful soulful music. This captures the emotions and romance between the main characters. The choice of music is intentionally picked exposing the soulful music sounds of the 1950’s with a touch of classical fusion.
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The film is set in the 1950’s. This is about the time when there was a revolution sweeping through Europe. Germany was trying to get back to its feet after bearing the wrath of the two wars. People in Germany were starting to prepare for a new life without the uncertainties brought by the war. Industries were shut; there was a lot of work to be done to make Germany habitable for its citizens. People began to count their losses and plan for their future. Those who had lost everything were looking for places to settle down and recollect their lives. It was a tough time for all the people in Germany. The music that was available at that time was basically an infusion of classical music with the slight incline to jazz. In Germany, the music that the Nazi-approved was avant-garde. The younger people took to forming a revolution which was more inclined to rebelling from the norm. Thus, the youth embraced foreign sounds like the swing and jazz with African roots. This type of music had been banned by the Nazi since they regarded blacks and Africans as lower class people. The setting of the film also depicts the bullet strapped walls of peoples’ homes. There is barely any infrastructure and reconstruction is seen to start as captured in some scenes.
This movie received very good critical acclaim. The setting of the movie was during a time and place that many people today still find fascinating. This is mainly because of the country’s history. The timeline of the setting of this film is also fascinating since it is the transition period. The setting is caught between the war-prone Germany before it gave way to the modern developed country it is today. Critics gave the film high scores in its delivery of a classic love story intertwined with the dark period of the film setting. The fact that there are few movies that have been produced with a similar storyline was a blessing for the film. It was well received by the public and grossed high revenue in the international market. The incorporation of a love story with a sad war background was also a crowd-puller. The film was, however, criticized for incorporating modern jazz music in its soundtrack. Some critics argued that this would lead people to believe that this type of music was allowed and accepted by the Nazi regime. The film was also appealing to the younger generation due to the main supporting cast, Erica, played by Angela. Angela is the current Miss Germany and took the crown of Miss World just weeks after being crowned. In her debut film, she has been hailed as the next big actress to come from Germany. Her appearance has boosted the rating and revenues generated by this film.
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