The German film industry, which was protected during the war by the ban on foreign films import, became exposed at the end of the war to the international film industry while having to face an embargo, this time on its own films.Many countries banned the import of German films and audiences themselves were resisting anything that was “German”.The outbreak of World War I and the subsequent boycott of, for example, French films left a noticeable gap in the market.
The public's desire to see more films with particular actors led to the development in Germany, as elsewhere, of the phenomenon of the film star; the actress Henny Porten was one of the earliest German stars.
Public desire to see popular film stories being continued encouraged the production of film serials, especially in the genre of mystery films, which is where the director Fritz Lang began his illustrious career.
Audiences however did not care to swallow the patriotic medicine without the accompanying sugar of the light-entertainment films which, consequently, Ufa also promoted.
The German film industry soon became the largest in Europe.
Germany witnessed major changes to its identity during the 20th and 21st century.