Lang's M Analysis of

In: Other Topics

Submitted By vincel56
Words 2333
Pages 10
Set during the Weimar Republic in Berlin, Fritz Lang’s ‘M,’ depicts investigations aimed at supposed child murderer, Hanz Beckert. Unlike typical depictions of evidence as supporting claims, the film depicts evidence as suggesting claims. We see this immediately as paranoid people restlessly accuse each other of being child murderers, because of their visual interpretations. Within the first ten minutes of the film we are shown adults arguing, almost embarrassingly, on whose recollection of what they saw is more accurate: adults yell at each other: Red! Green! Red! Green! In this way the efficacy of seeing as an objective medium to gathering evidence, and even what counts as being evidence is questioned. In this paper I will explore the question: “What constitutes evidence?” by focusing on the coalescence and manipulation of evidence through sight in ‘M’. Despite the ostensible validity a fingerprint or paperwork may hold, and the objectivity police seemingly have, police still end up gathering these pieces of evidence in such a way that they actually invalidate them. The film portrays this manipulation of data by showing how police inspection (through bare sight), creates a sense of control over how things are seen and the impending problems with controlling how things are seen. Police commissioner, Lohmann, is shown seated as a line files past him one by one as he inspects their paperwork for them to identify and thereby prove their identities. A person has no paperwork, another is inspected to have fake paperwork, and a newspaper article overrides valid paperwork. He constantly dismisses their forms of evidence as not being enough to prove their identities, and thereby brings into question the ability for such paperwork to fulfill a job such as proving identity, or simply acting as a form of evidence. Through self-inspection, Lohmann, deems their supposed…...

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