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Desire / Crisis / The Devious Path

Pabst’s film DESIRE, takes place in Berlin in 1920. Irene, played by Brigitte Helm, portrays a married woman who frees herself from the boredom of married life by having several affairs. Nightclubs, cigarettes, liquor and drugs, seduction, lust and false appearances set the tone for the film. Georg Wilhelm Pabst, presents a society absorbed with false appearances. Though the film was produced in 1928, it appears applicable to modern times.

DESIRE is a provocative analysis of married life. Soon after her wedding with the lawyer Robert Storner, Irene becomes jaded and bored. She feels neglected by her workaholic husband, and soon falls in love with the painter Walter Frank. When her husband discovers this, he is able to convince the painter to leave Irene. Though husband and wife have reconciled, Robert leaves on a business trip and Irene feels neglected once again. Her friend, Liane, persuades her to visit a nightclub where she meets a boxer, and gives in to his flirtations. Once her husband returns, the marital crisis is ended through divorce. Nevertheless, once they are separated, they fall into each others’ arms again.


Elena Kats-Chernin

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