minute 28

The Great Depression 10/24/1929

The first object to be identified in this film minute is a man who looks desperate. He also is very furious. What could be the reason for this anger? Behind him, there are lots of books on the shelves. He is in front of the books, holding his hat in his hands and he seems to reflect about what has been happening right now. He is possibly also searching for a solution concerning the chaos and disaster which he is facing currently. The man is still upset owing to all the things that have occurred so far.

The ear-battering music at the background of the film minute hits the nerves. The music sounds strange and scary. But it conveys and reflects very well the dark, cold and afflicted atmosphere of the movie scene centered on a historical moment.

What is actually the matter with the young man? When looking more closely at him and at the room with all the books on the shelves, he could belong to those people who lost all their fortunes during the Great Depression, on that famous, or notorious, day, the 24th of October 1929, when the exchange market in New York was a telling indicator for the serious ongoing recession. The final exchange market crash was a traumatic experience to a lot of people and a relevant turning point both in the U.S. and on a global scale.

As the former millionaire is aware of his present dramatic situation and his financial loss, he is nevertheless counting, recounting and checking the stocks which are locked in his safe, despite the fact that these papers got worthless on that particular day known world-wide as the Black Friday of 1929. Thereafter, total destruction followed, black, and white, black, white … Strange figures like finger prints on a movie tape showed up and faded away. One had the impression as if somebody had damaged certain parts of the tape. A few minutes later, the same well-clad millionaire can be observed outside. He still has this desperate and hopeless attitude. He stands still in front of a banking house, closed with wooden panels and a notice on them. Despite the message which informs him that the shop owners closed the bank owing to the inflation of money, the brave man does not give up and continues knocking on the door.
Then a man inside the banking house is visible whose eyes are following the protagonist outside of the building, shouting and requesting that somebody open the door as he wants to convert his stocks into liquid assets.

Suddenly, a stone-faced, fair-haired lady in her mid-fifties appears, yelling to the poor desperate former millionaire that the US-dollar has been devaluated and that she is not in the position to help him. With her hands up in the air she points to the door, requesting him to leave the house as quickly as possible.

Overall, the message may be that in general nobody can take his or her fortune into the grave. People die naked and thus the way they were born. According to an Arabic proverb, one cannot take any gold coins into the grave because one’s last clothes have not got any pockets. The former millionaire in this film minute recognizes that he followed a demon throughout his life and that this demon was called money. It is certainly true that only at times may money bring sunshine into life. But it is nothing that lasts and hence falls into pieces right in the very moment one’s hand is trying to make the most of it. Consequently, money, wealth and richness obviously do not exist forever in life.