Does Not Live By Bread Alone

Trailer (comming soon!)

Availability for international distribution

Nicht vom Brot allein (Does Not Live By Bread Alone) is also available with english subtitles. In PAL and NTSC.


It happens in the middle of the 19th century, the last famine-stricken period in Europe (1845 - 1849). A woman in her middle period of life, who lives with her husband in poor circumstances, is awakened by odd noises coming from the room below. When she has groped her way downstairs in the dark, she sees her husband standing at the table and looking at her in a frightened way. Clumsily he hides something behind his back, stammering apologies and excuses. At last, when she returns to bed, he removes his hand. Holding a piece of bread which he has sliced off secretly.
The next morning she hands him over one of her three slices of bread. He gives it back humilatedly blamed. He says that she cannot eat only two pieces of bread. They start quarelling. Long rankling aggressions arise. Finally he takes his three slices of bread and departs. She takes her two slices and returns to work. The controversial piece of bread remains on the table. It is getting mouldy, at first nearly imperceptibly, but later faster and faster.

Nicht vom Brot allein (Does Not Live By Bread Alone) developed freely according to a motive of the story Das Brot (The Bread) by Wolfgang Borchert. Nevertheless the film takes only one aspect of the narration as its starting point, changes it and thus departs from the original text. Nicht vom Brot allein (Does Not Live By Bread Alone) is an autonomous film work, but it can as well be seen in context with Borchert's story. Then its meaning results from the distance from the original text.

Using visual impressions instead of filling-pages-dialogs, the story should be understandabel anyway. Considering this shortfilm is about two people living in 19th centuries poverty, the fact, that their language is also poor, may not be too astonishing.

On the contrary to Borchert's narration, in which the woman is shown as a caring mother (who resigns because of love and in this way repairs the relations), the film allows a less radiant view on the woman's role: the mothering woman is simply not a mother, but her husband's wife. In Nicht vom Brot allein (Does Not Live By Bread Alone) the woman's sacrifice does not succeed in the elimination of her husband's debt, but on the contrary leads to an intensification of the conflict. So the film does not show a touching story of love, but a cool glimpse of unreflected role habits.