Siegfried In The Interpretations Of The German Film Directors Of The Early 20th – Early 21st Century (Fritz Lang's "The Nibelungs" And Uli Edel`S "Ring Of The Nibelungs")


  • Mikhail Zolnikov Sobinov Saratov state conservatory



Fritz Lang, Uli Edel, Nibelungs, Siegfried, medieval epos, neomythology


Film experts and art historians studied German cinema in detail, however, movies based on “The Song of the Nibelungs” as well as on the German and Scandinavian heroic epic have not yet been investigated by means of modern interdisciplinary approaches. The author pays attention to Siegfried, one of the most important heroes of the German and Scandinavian epic, according to Fritz Lang's (1890 – 1976) and Uli Edel`s (1947) interpretations, divided by almost a century (1924 and 2004). The author analyzes various means of expression: visuality, scenery, actor's performance, credits/dialogues. As far as the Lang's movie is concerned, he concludes that one can interpret the figure of Sigfried on two levels of interpretation. The first is the visual one which includes the actor's performance and the work of support staff (e.g. dress makers, set dressers). It describes him as an extraordinary strong hero. The second one is the semantic level which is formed of credits and music. It creates a myth about Siegfried as the national hero. In Edel's movie, the dialogues between heroes and actor's performance are used as the main means of expression. In Lang’s interpretation, Siegfried is described as the neo-romantic superhero, the person possessing a special force. Uli Edel’s Siegfried obtains dialectic nature – he is the prince, the king, and he is also the commoner; courageous soldier, dragon slayer, and obedient vassal, servant; son of Christian parents, pagan's stepson. The author assumes that Fritz Lang and Uli Edel reacted to inquiries of the time. In the 1920s, Germany suffered a difficult period between the two World Wars, the German people were oppressed by military reparations. Powerful Siegfried, as the national hero and embodiment of the German people, was urged to remind Germans of their great heroic past, to return their self-confidence to them. In our era of globalization and multiculturalism, the idea of association, peaceful co-existence of various ideas and religions was embodied in Siegfried.






How to Cite

Siegfried In The Interpretations Of The German Film Directors Of The Early 20th – Early 21st Century (Fritz Lang’s "The Nibelungs" And Uli Edel`S "Ring Of The Nibelungs"). (2021). Text and Image: Essential Problems in Art History, 2(2).