in about 100 words or less
Germany 143m, Silent, B&W
Director: Fritz Lang; Cast: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Hanna Ralph, Bernhard Goetzke, Theodor Loos, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Rudolf Rittner, Hans Adalbert Schlettow, Georg August Koch
Die Nibelungen is a heroic fantasy based on a Teutonic poem about the fantastic adventures of Siegfried the dragon slayer. A spectacular production, shown in seven chapters, the film is epic in scale and story, and is the first of a two-part series directed by Lang. After bathing in the blood of a slain dragon and defeating Alberich – King of the Dwarves, Siegfried seems all but invincible. Later, secretly assisting the King of Burgundy in a contest to win the hand of the mighty Brunhilde, Siegfried also gains the King’s sister as his own bride, but not without tragic consequences. Eventually learning of the deception used to defeat her, Brunhilde forces the King to turn against his loyal friend Siegfried in this tale of love, betrayal and tragedy (Klaus Ming June 2013).