Hans Tintner’s film Cyanide is very much influenced by the intellectual progressiveness of the Weimar Republic and New Objectivity. It is based on Friedrich Wolf’s play of the same name. Wolf denounces the so-called Abortion Paragraph (§ 218) and puts it up for discussion. He was arrested in 1931 for having offended against § 218 and Tintner’s film was banned. At the time of the Economic Crisis Hete, a young woman, gets pregnant by her boyfriend Paul. When Paul loses his job and Hete does not know how to feed the child she is expecting, she decides to have an abortion. At first she seeks her gynaecologist’s help and advice. However, she learns that, due to § 218, his hands are tied and he cannot assist her. That is why she cannot see any alternative but to attempt an abortion on herself and, when this attempt fails, to go to a back-street abortionist, who gives her a tincture of potassium cyanide to take with her. She is to apply the tincture at home. Malnutrition and starvation have already weakened Hete. When her mother, who nurses her, continues giving her the tincture, she nearly dies. Two civil servants are on her track; they interrogate Hete and her mother. Contrary to what might be expected, however, it is the state that is denounced, the state that does not take care of its people and forces innumerable women into having illegal abortions. More:
  • DirectorHans Tintner
  • Authornach dem Theaterstück von Friedrich Wolf
  • CameraGünther Krampf
  • ActorsGrete Mosheim, Nico Turoff, Claus Clausen, Herma Ford, Margarete Kupfer, u.a.
  • MusicWilly Schmidt-Gentner
  • produced byHans Tintner für Atlantis-Film, Berlin
  • CountriesGermany
  • GenreFilm
  • Year1930
  • Length89 min
  • TopicAbortion
  • FormatVideo (BW, silent)
  • LanguagesGerman
  • SubtitlesEnglish

  • Genre Film
  • Year 1930
  • Length 89 min
  • Topic Abortion
  • Countries Germany
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