Die Gansehirtin am Brunnen (1979)

aka The Wishmaker
Article 3856 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-25-2012
Posting Date: 3-5-2012
Directed by Ursula Schmanger
Featuring Jaroslava Schallerova, David Schneider, Gunter Naumann
Country: East Germany
What it is: Fairy tale

A young man is aided by a witch in his hunt for an unhappy princess.

Here we have another German fairy tale, though this one is from the seventies and comes from East Germany rather than West Germany. Like the others that I’ve seen, this is a rather slow affair, but, even despite the fact that it was in German without dubbing or subtitles, I felt it more or less worked. Just on a visual sense, I felt it managed to capture a sense of gentle lyricism that makes it rather likable, and it keeps the special effects to a minimum, only using them when it was most effective. According to one of my sources, it was based on “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm, but upon reading a summary of that fairy tale, I find little relation between it and this; the short plot description in John Stanley’s “Creature Feature Movie Guide Strikes Again” is closer to what seems to be happening. The movie has a very low rating on IMDB, yet I don’t think it deserves it; however, I could see how its low action quotient might alienate some, while the very real possibility that it may have been badly dubbed would further damage it. If that’s the case, I may have been better off watching the undubbed version, despite the language barrier.

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