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In 1926, the year before the release of Metropolis, Lang explained his view of the developing role of cinema:

'The internationalism of filmic language will become the strongest instrument available for the mutual understanding of peoples, who otherwise have such difficulty understanding each other in all too many languages. To bestow upon film the double gift of ideas and soul is the task that lies before us. We will realise it.' Fritz Lang 1926

  1. Lang believed cinema would become a tool for teaching and enlightenment. To what extent did his prophecy come true?
  2. How can this quote be related to the political themes and preoccupations in Metropolis?
  3. What other kinds of teachings and predictions can be inferred from this comment?

Originally released in 1927, Lang's Metropolis is widely considered one of the most influential films of its time, and perhaps of all time. Yet the version that Lang intended audiences to see was thought lost: after the film's Berlin release, the footage was sent to the US for screening where significant cuts were made, with around a quarter of the film being taken out. In a pre-digital age, this was a huge blow, as the official Press Notes for the restored 2010 version explain:

'Late in his life, Lang responded to a question on Metropolis by asking his own question, "Why are you so interested in a picture which no longer exists?" Finally, reconstructed and restored, the director's film 'exists' once more.'

Use the Further study supporting document to explore the cinematic and cultural influences of Lang's film.