Masterpieces, including Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” are kept at the German Federal Archives near Berlin. Here, film restoration specialist Egbert Koppe of the archive, is pictured at the facility. “Historical nitrate film is highly explosive,” he warns. Films are kept here under the stipulations of the German Explosives Act.
A still from Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds”: In the film, Adolf Hitler dies in a Paris movie theater, which partisans transform into a fiery hell with the help of nitrate film. The material, which has far greater explosive power than gun powder, has become a serious problem for German film archivists.