Department of Records – Week Six

Socialism and Fascism

What elements of this story suggest fascist or socialist readings?

What opportunities do either of these systems offer?


Why does Fredersen take the robot to a dance club to see if it can pass as “flesh and blood”?

Where are the women in the movie? What are their roles both above and below ground?

Why is the robot female?



Who are the workers, what do they do, and what do they look like?

Where do they live?

What are their jobs like?

Why do they meet with Maria in secret?

Where does Fredersen live? What is his life like and what does he do?

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Why does Maria tell the story of Babel?


What does Maria tell the children of the workers when they visit the pleasure garden? Why?

How does this impact Freder?

Consider Freder’s relationship with his father, master of the city John Fredersen.

How does John Fredersen relate to his son? To the children of his workers?

Where is Freder’s mother?

How do Freder and his father relate to Maria and the Maria-bot respectively?

What makes Freder ill? Why does he dream of the seven deadly sins dancing?

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The Robot

What purpose does John Fredersen want to use robots for in the future?

Why is this particular robot shaped like Maria?

How does she differ from the real Maria? Consider this visually as well as actually.

Why does she incite the workers to rebellion against the machines?

How is her creator Rotwang similar to or different from Victor Frankenstein?

What happened to his hand?

What is his house like?


Look carefully at the drawings of the Metropolis.

What does this city look like? Why?

How do people move around it?

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Technology and The Machines

How is technology represented in the film? What does it do?

What relationship do the workers have to the machines?

What mood is evoked by the changing shifts?

What happens if the machines are destroyed?

Iconography and Film Style

Watch the film closely for its imagery.

Do you see repeated images, shapes, or visual themes?

Do you see religious imagery?

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Science Fiction

What elements of this story make it science fiction?

Do you see a relationship with “The Machine Stops”? Other works?

What are the lessons of the film? Are you satisfied?