(The Case for Decision Oedipus)

A Defa Studios/Toro Film/MaxCapita International co-production
Directed by Rainer Simon
Greece-East Germany-West Germany, 1990, color, 95 min

Greece 1944. At a remote German military camp lost in the mountains near Delphi, the Commander was a professor of classical history and philosophy in civilian life. Now that he is so close to Delphi he decides to turn his soldiers into students and forms a 16mm film unit to shoot the story of Oedipus. A private is cast in the title part and –for the part of Jocasta– he casts a pretty Greek actress, who eventually also becomes his mistress making young Oedipus very jealous. Other Greeks in the cast are Creon and two elderly peasants for the old heralds. The group gets caught into the story and the excitement and Greeks and Germans become friends. Like the mythical king, the young private falls in love with the Greek actress who plays the role of Jocasta but, to the satisfaction of the war loving Captain, the reality of the war is not far. While the filming crew is in Delphi, the camp is razed to the ground by the Greek guerrillas, and the crew has to try and make its way to the main city through the mountains. The Greek cast is now "the enemy" and are hostages, placed in front of the convoy. When the resistance fighters attack them at night, Oedipus will shoot Jocasta, the Commander will shoot himself and everyone else will be killed by the resistance fighters. The final realization is that guilt, like in the case of Oedipus, cannot be suppressed – neither in myth, nor in 1944 German-occupied Greece and most certainly not in the here and now of today.

This anti war philosophical film was the first (and last) big co production between the East German film industry, a Berlin, West German company (Toro Film) and a Greek producer (Max Roman). By the time the film was completed and released, the Berlin Wall was past history and the release pattern was altered depriving the film of the Festival accolades they said it merited.