As the genre of expressionism began to diminish, the genre of the New Objectivity (die neue Sachlichkeit) began to take its place. It was influenced by new issues which occupied the public in those years, as the rampant inflation caused deterioration in the economic status of the middle class. These films, often called “street films” or “asphalt films”, tried to reflect reality in all its complexity and ugliness. They focused on objects surrounding the characters and cynically symbolized the despair felt by the German people, whose lives were shattered after the war. The most prominent film maker who is associated with this genre is Georg Wilhelm Pabst in his films such as: Joyless Street (1925), Pandora's Box (1929), and The Loves of Jeanne Ney (1927). Pabst is also credited with innovations in film editing, such as reversing the angle of the camera or cutting between two camera angles, which enhanced film continuity and later became standards of the industry. 
Matters of national importance, such as defense and foreign affairs, are reserved to the federal government. At both the state and federal levels, parliamentary democracy prevails. The Federal Republic has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 1955 and was a founding member of the European Economic Community ( see European Union ). During the four decades of partition, the Federal Republic concluded a number of agreements with the Soviet Union and East Germany, which it supported to some extent economically in return for various concessions with regard to humanitarian matters and access to Berlin. West Germany’s rapid economic recovery in the 1950s ( Wirtschaftswunder , or “economic miracle”) brought it into a leading position among the world’s economic powers, a position that it has maintained.