East German student Maria (Waller) has plans to study Russian at college, perhaps to become a translator. But her efforts are scuttled when she refuses to testify against her brother Dieter (Winkler), who’s been arrested for subversion of the Communist state. Working now as a waitress, Maria is approached by a well-to-do older customer, Paul Deister (Muller), and agrees to date him... even after she realizes he is the judge who sentenced Dieter to prison.
Daring for its time and flecked with off-kilter satirical humor, Maetzig’s controversial Iron Curtain drama investigates hypocrisy and corruption at the highest levels of government in the pre-Berlin Wall GDR. The film was banned and Maetzig was hounded for painting the legal system in such an unflattering light (even a lowly fisherman near Deister’s vacation house gets draconian treatment for drunkenly insulting the military). But the film is never heavy-handed, bringing its message across with a wry intelligence. Catch this "Rabbit."