In the following frames, we see a series of similar juxtapositions, in which the value of the commodity declines but the stack of money increases — up to an almost worthless burning cigarette that corresponds to an enormous pile of money, which fills, and even transcends the frame of the film. Richter constructs here an impressive counter punctual sequence that displays the inverted growth of the sheer amount of money and its declining value. (Fig. 4 & 5).

Another motif that is strategically employed in a parallel montage is the juxtaposition of circulating zeros and human faces. An increasing amount of faces corresponds to an increasing amount of zeros. In fact, Richter merges human faces and zeros further together by arranging them in the shape of a zero. This visual transposition implies that also the individuals become less and less valuable, [16] however, the sheer amount of zeros becomes more and more.

It is interesting to see that, although Inflation gives a concise visual analysis of the economic development, it does not explain the reason that causes it. The money devaluation appears as an almost actor-less event that leads to a break down (represented by the collapsing building) and primarily knows victims (represented by the poor and lonely man walking away in the final sequence). However, the lack of a cause for the inflation in Richter’s film should not be understood as naïveté, but rather points to the fact that this movie did not represent the actual economical process of inflation, but displayed the psychological profile of the time of inflation.

The impressive scene with the man reading the newspaper makes this point clear. (Fig. 6) At first the man is evidently dressed as a well-off member of the bourgeoisie and represents the upper class. Then after having a short look at the newspaper, he understands that he lost all his wealth, takes off his hat and begins to beg for money. Although, the man accesses the situation with an uncanny speed, his face and reaction signify resignation and desperation. He quickly understood the economic catastrophe, but he also did not have a good plan of what to do now. Although there was an understanding of the economical process, the people did not know how to react in such a situation. Any attempt to secure prosperity was threatened by the absurd value decline of money. I suggest that it is precisely this feeling of not to know how to react and of existential meaninglessness as it was experienced in the early twenties that Richter tried to capture in his cinematic representation of the inflation by representing the inflation as an effect without a cause.

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