The motto of the Oberhausen Short Film Festival is “a path to the neighbours”. In this polemical report, “notes on the Oberhausen 66 film festival”, East German documentarians Gerhard Scheumann and Walter Heynowski bring to task the films in competition. They find experimental forms to be “onscreen excesses” and instead of political subject matter, they discover a “wave of perversity”. Their own film, KOMMANDO 52, about the mercenary Siegfried “Congo” Müller, was rejected by the festival, and criminal charges against the film’s subject by East German prosecutor Friedrich-Karl Kaul are the focus of a press conference. The filmmakers interpret a cinema’s refusal to show the film as a “nod from the neighbours”, the neighbouring West German regulatory authorities, and an attempt to ascribe state censorship to West Germany.
by Harry Hornig
Germany (GDR 1949 to 1990) 1966