"saw everything from German war and folk movies to Westerns and New Wave films"

Cinema was very popular in Germany during the 1950s, and a good number of films were made.  They were rarely seen internationally, possibly because of the focus on domestic themes.  The ‘folk movies’ referred to were called ‘Heimatfilm’ and were often simple family or romantic stories set in pretty rural locations such as Bavaria or the Alps.  The war films are interesting because they show some tentative steps in considering the recent past; some of them depicted opposition to the Nazi regime.  The Westerns were intended to be pure entertainment, and were sometimes adapted from pulp novels alongside other genres such as thrillers and detective stories.  The ‘New Wave’ of German cinema did not evolve until the 1960s, unlike that of the French which commenced in 1958 with films such as ‘Le Beau Serge’, ‘Les Quatre Cents Coups’ and ‘A Bout de Souffle’. 

Here is an example of Heimatfilm: