Menschen am Sonntag

In his Berlin years (1926-1933) Billy Wilder worked as a journalist and a screenwriter. His best-known film from this period in which he wrote scripts for dozens of films is Menschen am Sonntag. Wilder produced this film together with a group of other young budding filmmakers: Robert Siodmak co-directed the film with Edgar Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann was assistant cameraman and Curt Siodmak and Wilder wrote the script together.

a weekend in the summer

 With the exception of cameraman Eugen Schüfftan, none of them had any experience in making films, but they were all agreed on one thing: it had to be a film unlike the regular cinema fare in every respect. Film stars were ruled out from the start:  Menschen am Sonntag had to be a film about ordinary young people in Berlin and what they did on an average weekend in the summer. The film follows a number of them after work on Saturday night and on Sunday as they take a trip to Nikolassee lake. On Monday morning Berlin is a different city as everybody is back at work.

a huge success

People on Sunday was a low-budget film, shot on location with a young non-professional cast in the course of nine months. The local distributors were sceptical about the film, but it was a huge success from day one. The viewers recognized themselves in what is now regarded as one of the absolute highlights of Weimar film culture.

Menschen am Sonntag was restored by Eye and is screened to live music performed by Martin de Ruiter and Thijs Havens (keyboards, guitars, piano and bandoneon). 

A Foreign Affair (1948), one of Wilder’s other films set in Berlin, will be screened additionally on 8 July at 19:15. We offer visitors a package that includes both films and a meal in Eye bar-restaurant.

We also offer a package with Menschen am Sonntag at 16.00, a meal in Eye bar-restaurant and A Foreign Affair (Billy Wilder, 1948) at 19.15.