Joseph Beuys, the man with the hat, the felt and the ‘fat corner’. Thirty years after his death he feels like a visionary who was, and still is, ahead of his time. He was the first German artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York whilst at home in Germany his work was often still derided as the ‘most expensive trash of all time’. Once asked if he was indifferent to such comments he retorted: ‘Yes. I want to expand people’s perceptions.’
Andres Veiel lets the artist speak for himself. From previously unpublished audio and video footage Veiel creates an associative, porous portrait which, like the artist himself, opens up spaces for ideas rather than proclaiming statements. Beuys boxes, chats, lectures, explains art to a dead hare and asks: ‘Do you want to instigate a revolution without laughter?’ But we also experience the man, the teacher and the Green Party candidate. Once, shortly before his death, he consents to being photographed without his hat. Veiel’s film makes visible the contradictions and tensions which gave rise to Beuys’ Gesamtkunstwerk. Beuys’ expanded concept of art feeds directly into today’s social, political and moral debates.
by Andres Veiel Germany 2017 German, English 107’ Black/White & Colour Documentary form


Written and Directed by Andres Veiel
Editing Stephan Krumbiegel, Olaf Voigtländer
Archive Monika Preischl
Music Ulrich Reuter, Damian Scholl
Sound Design Matthias Lempert
Animation Jutojo, Toby Cornish, Johannes Braun
Cinematography Jörg Jeshel
Sound Hubertus Müll
Production Manager Melanie Berke
Producer Thomas Kufus
Co-Producers Claudia Steffen, Christoph Friedel, Martina Zöllner, Simone Reuter, Christiane Hinz
Co-Production Terz Filmproduktion Köln
SWR Baden-Baden
WDR Köln
In Cooperation with Arte

World sales

Beta Cinema

Andres Veiel

Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1959. Whilst taking a degree in psychology he also studied directing and dramaturgy at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin under Krzysztof Kieślowski. He directed his first documentary in 1992, followed by Balagan (Berlinale 1994) and Black Box BRD (Black Box Germany, Berlinale 2002). His feature film debut Wer wenn nicht wir (If Not Us, Who) premiered in the Berlinale Competition in 2011 and won the Alfred Bauer Prize. His theatre play 'Der Kick' was first performed in 2005; its film adaptation screened in the Panorama in 2006. In 2013 he directed the premiere of his play 'Das Himbeerreich'.


1992 Winternachtstraum; documentary 1993 Balagan; documentary 1996 Die Überlebenden; documentary 2001 Black Box BRD; documentary 2004 Die Spielwütigen; documentary 2006 Der Kick – Spurensuche eines Mordes 2011 Wer wenn nicht wir 2017 Beuys

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018