‘Why didn’t you leave the twelve white flowers alone? Those were your brothers – now they’ve all turned into ravens.’ Brothers Grimm ‘The Twelve Brothers’ Fragments of fairy tales alternate with observations made by children. Documentary and staged sequences run into one another. There is no break and no contradiction between reality, the children’s behaviour and the imagination, all three are tightly intertwined. ‘To remember in images means to abolish the censorship that thought expressed in words exerts a little bit. […] During filming, we hiked through the marshland, through the woods. The children played at something and we recorded it. Or we suggested something to them and they played along. Actually, the opening scene was supposed to include fear and eeriness. The kids weren’t afraid in the bunker though; they’d played there often before; they tore down the walls that were still standing. This underground, labyrinthine bunker used to be a concentration camp and a supply depot during the war. Above a door, you could still barely read: “And if it means we’ll go through hell, we’ll stand by Hitler just as well”.’ Claudia von Alemann
by Claudia von Alemann
with Alicia Rodriguez, Bernd Geiseler
Federal Republic of Germany 1967 German 22’ Black/White


  • Alicia Rodriguez
  • Bernd Geiseler


Written and Directed by Claudia von Alemann
Cinematography Jorge Bodanzky, Rolf Scheimeister
Editing Claudia von Alemann
Sound Claudia von Alemann
Music Claudia von Alemann
Producer Claudia von Alemann

Produced by

Institut für Filmgestaltung Ulm

Claudia von Alemann

Born in Seebach, Germany, she studied art history and sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin and film at the Ulm School of Design. From 1968 to 1969 she lived in Paris and directed the documentary Das ist nur der Anfang – der Kampf geht weiter about the Etats Généraux du Cinéma. In 1973 she organised, with Helke Sander, the First International Women’s Cinema Conference in the Kino Arsenal, Berlin. From 1974 to 1980 she lived again in Paris. In 1982 she won the German Film Critics Association Award for Die Reise nach Lyon. From 1982 to 2006 she was professor for Film at FH Dortmund and guest professor at film schools including in Havana, Cambridge, New York, Boston and Montréal. Her feature-length video Das Frauenzimmer is held in numerous video art collections and museums including MoMa in New York. She lives in Cologne and Havana.


1966 Einfach; short film 1967 Exprmntl 4 Knokke; documentary · Fundevogel · Lustgewinn I 1968 Das ist nur der Anfang – der Kampf geht weiter; documentary 1969 Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen; documentary 1970 Kathleen und Eldridge Cleaver; documentary · Das schwache Geschlecht muss stärker werden; documentary 1971 Aus eigener Kraft – Frauen in Vietnam; documentary 1972 Namibia; documentary · Es kommt drauf an, sie zu verändern; documentary 1977 Filme der Sonne und der Nacht: Ariane Mnouchkine; documentary 1978 Die Reise nach Lyon 1981 Das Frauenzimmer · Nebelland 1983 Der Beginn aller Schrecken ist Liebe 1984 Die Tür in der Mauer 1986 Das nächste Jahrhundert wird uns gehören 1989 Nachdenken über Film; short film 1990 Lichte Nächte; documentary 1991 November; short film · ...wie nächtliche Schatten; documentary 1992 Denny, Ameise und die anderen; short film 2015 Die Frau mit der Kamera - Porträt der Fotografin Abisag Tüllmann; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019