Kriemhilde’s Revenge (1924)

Article #685 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-29-2003
Posting Date: 6-28-2003
Directed by Fritz Lang
Featuring Margarete Schon, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos

Kriemhilde seeks revenge against the man who killed Siegfried.

This is the second half of Frtiz Lang’s DIE NIBELUNGEN, the first half, SIEGFRIED, having already been covered. The fantastic elements are minimal in this one, though the same cannot be said for the first half; the most obvious fantastic element here is a short flashback of the first half in which Siegfried kills a dragon. The story is less episodic and more focused than the first one, as it establishes Kriemhilde’s thirst for revenge from the beginning and never strays from that theme. Like SIEGFRIED, I can spot parts of Wagner’s musical themes on the soundtrack. It’s interesting to see Attila the Hun portrayed as something other than a total villain; here his desire for a son, his love for him, and his eventual loss of him makes him a sympathetic character, certainly moreso than the brutal but almost immortal Hagen Tronje, or Kriemhilde herself, whose obsession becomes her sole reason for existing. Like all of Fritz Lang’s silent films, definitely worth a look.

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