August 1928: while workers and farmers search “Das Kapital” for answers to some mysterious vampire bite marks, a self-proclaimed baron enters the life of the charming heiress Miss Flambow-Jansen, as well as her luxury Baltic residence. As it turns out, he is actually a proletarian impostor, forced to escape from the Soviet Union because of a political incident involving no less than Sergei Eisenstein and Stalin himself.
Julian Radlmaier takes his trademark “ironical materialism” even further, with a new mixture of ideology and cinephilia that gives rise to a dialectic fable-cum-formalist-comedy, assuming that the Marxist description of the capitalist as a vampire is far from metaphorical. And while the entire film features historical inaccuracies that highlight the subject’s current relevance, it is the finale, with its abrupt detour into manipulation of reality and xenophobia, which really emphasises how injustice and lies prevailed then as now – only now more than ever. The oppressed continue to aim their class violence in the wrong direction, once again offering their necks to the oppressors’ fangs.
by Julian Radlmaier
with Alexandre Koberidze, Lilith Stangenberg, Alexander Herbst, Corinna Harfouch, Andreas Döhler, Daniel Hoesl, Mareike Beykirch, Kyung-Taek Lie, Darja Lewin
Germany 2021 German, English, Russian 127’ Colour Rating R12

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Alexandre Koberidze (Ljowuschka)
  • Lilith Stangenberg (Octavia)
  • Alexander Herbst (Jacob)
  • Corinna Harfouch (Aunt Erkentrud)
  • Andreas Döhler (Dr. Humburg)
  • Daniel Hoesl (Bonim)
  • Mareike Beykirch (Jewka)
  • Kyung-Taek Lie (Algae Collector)
  • Darja Lewin (Rosa)


Written and Directed by Julian Radlmaier
Cinematography Markus Koob
Editing Julian Radlmaier
Sound Design Christian Obermaier
Sound Andreas Hildebrandt
Production Design Reinhild Blaschke
Costumes Sara Wendt
Make-Up Christian Fritzenwanker
Assistant Director Ewelina Rosinska
Production Manager Clara Gerst
Producer Kirill Krasovski
Co-Producers Michael Reuter, Knut Maier, Niels Maier, Stefan Laucher, Julia Mishkinene
Co-Production The Post Republic Berlin
Maier Bros. Köln
Ludwig Kameraverleih München

Julian Radlmaier

Born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1984, he studied film and history of art in Berlin and Paris before taking a degree in directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). He has worked as an assistant for Werner Schroeter and translated and published a series of film criticism texts by French philosopher Jacques Rancière. His DFFB graduation film, Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes, was selected for the 2017 Perspektive Deutsches Kino and went on to screen and win several awards at festivals around the world. His screenplay for Blutsauger has already won the German Screenplay Award and a Berlinale Kompagnon Fellowship.


2013 Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa (A Spectre is Haunting Europe) 2014 Ein proletarisches Wintermärchen (A Proletarian Winter’s Tale) 2017 Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes (Self-criticsim of a Bourgeois Dog) 2021 Blutsauger (Bloodsuckers)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021