for anytime

in all languages

Weltstadt 2

Weltstadt in Flegeljahren : Ein Bericht über Chicago

Heinrich Hauser / DEUZE, 1931 / 73 min.

Heinrich Hauser, a German photographer, reporter and writer influenced by the Neue Sachlichkeit, travelled to America in 1931. Like so many journalists he was fascinated by the rapid pace of urban life there, especially by Chicago, one of the major jazz hubs in the United States. Trio Silent Live accompanies Hauser’s documentary on the growing pains of Chicago on trumpet, saxophone and double bass. 

Weltstadt 4

A 16mm hand camera, some black and white films, a notepad and a pen, is all Heinrich Hauser (1901-1955) needed for his report on the Windy City in the early 1930s. Hauser filmed the streets, the people, the skyscrapers, the commercial activity and the moments of quiet in the parks.

no lyrical impressionism

In contrast to filmmakers like Walter Ruttmann (Berlin, die Sinfonie einer Groβstadt, 1927) or Alberto Cavalcanti, who painted a portrait of Paris (Rien que les heures, 1926), Hauser”s style of filming was calm and measured. There is no experimental urban poetry or lyrical impressionism to be found in Weltstadt in Flegeljahren. Chicago: A World City in its Teens is a realistic and personal account of what Hauser saw. The poverty, unemployment and crime did not go unnoticed: slums and garbage dumps, Hauser filmed them all.

When Hauser arrived in Chicago, the city had just experienced a major influx of African-Americans coming from the South. Chicago fast rose to become the centre of urban blues and Chicago Jazz, the successor to New Orleans style, made famous by Louis Armstrong. Trio Silent Live will perform live to celebrate Chicago”s sound, featuring Bert Lochs on trumpet, Frido ter Beek on saxophone and Jasper Somsen on double bass.



Heinrich Hauser

Production year




Original title

Weltstadt in Flegeljahren : Ein Bericht über Chicago


73 min.





Weltstadt 5
Weltstadt 3