Farming + Rural Life | 1960 | Sound | Colour
Co-operative farming under a Soviet model in Communist East Germany 1960's
A field. "This field is the property of a co-operative farm 50 miles east of Hamburg." A village in the background: Mestlin. "A model of socialized agriculture." A lorry with two trailers passes. - The farm buildings. The machinery station: a reaper, tractors, trailers. A farmer climbs onto a tractor and drives off ("He is a member of the tractor brigade."). At the main entrance. He checks out: The barrier is lifted, he drives through. Above the entrance a sign: "MTS Mestlin". He drives past old farm houses with thatched roofs. He drives through the village ("that has grown in recent years from 800 to about 1200"). Two farmers with horse and wagon. - A sign at the village entrance: "Forward to new successes in the socialist competition! For the benefit of the people - for the honour of the republic!" The tractor passes new blocks of apartments (painted in pink). Some shops: "Textiles", "Grocery", a community centre, a post office, a restaurant. A woman posting a letter in a mailbox. Woman and child looking at the front window of the textiles shop. - School children walking on the street. The school (new and pink); a school bus arrives, the children jump out. The school also caters for children from the 4 surrounding villages. On the school yard; children play. An FDJ (Free German Youth) ceremony on the school yard. The children arrange; two flags are hold up. A girl gives directions and some children hoist the FDJ flag, the flag raising ceremony takes place every morning. Students are taught agriculture to prepare them for work on the land. A female farmer ("she works in the dairy brigade") looking after the cows and driving them into a barn. The dairy brigade look after 1500 cows. In the barn. The milking machine. - On the field: two tractors harvest potatoes. "The digging is mechanized, but the gathering is done by hand." Shots of the tractors digging the potatoes and of students ("who are required to do a certain amount of field work") gathering them. Many shots of about 20 students gathering up potatoes, and of farmers with horse and wagon collecting the full baskets. The students work 7 hours a day for one month and receive a small wage. Eventually the farmer drives off with the loaded wagon. The farmer's father does family farming: "Each family has 1.25 acres of land on its own." He collects potatoes, then looks up: the bus with the students on their way to lunch is passing. They sing: "I am hungry hungry hungry hungry, I am hungry hungry hungry hungry, food, food, food, food" etc. The grandfather carries two baskets of potatoes into the house. An old woman is milking a cow manually. - In the canteen. Women put food on plates and hand it over to the students. Students, children and farmers eating in the canteen, the eat sausage and mash with gravy - In the evening: Meeting of the co-operative's membership. Lots of well-dressed people sit at tables in a hall. The chairman announces the names of new members. Shots of the audience and the chair. They all look rather bored. The meetings are important as they need to decide who they are going to meet there produce quota, if they produce more than the quota they will all receive a bonus. Two members ask questions to the chair in very bad sound quality. - The chairman announces the end of the meeting.
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