Der vermessene Mensch

Measures of Men
Alexander Hoffmann is determined to continue the legacy of his father, a pioneering ethnologist. At university, he gets caught up in the maelstrom of the evolutionist race theory of the late 19th century. Hoffmann is disgusted by the measuring of skulls, which has no other purpose than to pseudo-scientifically legitimise the superiority of the white race – but he goes along with it. He wants to find counter-evidence and seeks contact with Kezia Kambazemi, the interpreter of a delegation of Nama and Herero in Berlin who have been forced to take part in a “peoples show”. Shortly after the delegation leaves, an uprising against the German colonial power begins in what was then “German Southwest Africa”. As an ethnologist, Hoffmann becomes a member of an expedition and travels all over the country under the protection of the imperial army in search of skulls – and of Kezia.
Lars Kraume’s topical film provides answers to some of today’s most pressing questions for turn-of-the-century German history, such as why the first concentration camps were built in what is now Namibia and how so many Nama and Herero skulls ended up in German museums.
by Lars Kraume
with Leonard Scheicher, Girley Charlene Jazama, Peter Simonischek, Sven Schelker, Max Koch, Ludger Bökelmann, Leo Meier, Anton Paulus, Tilo Werner, Corinna Kirchhoff
Germany 2022 German, Otjiherero 116’ World premiere Rating R12


  • Leonard Scheicher (Alexander Hoffmann)
  • Girley Charlene Jazama (Kezia Kunouje Kambazembi)
  • Peter Simonischek (Professor von Waldstätten)
  • Sven Schelker (First Lieutenant Wolf von Crensky)
  • Max Koch (Corporal Kramer)
  • Ludger Bökelmann (Cadet Hartung)
  • Leo Meier (Bern Wendenburg)
  • Anton Paulus (Friedrich Maharero)
  • Tilo Werner (Missionary Kuhlmann)
  • Corinna Kirchhoff (Henriette Hoffmann)


Director Lars Kraume
Screenplay Lars Kraume
Cinematography Jens Harant
Editing Peter R. Adam
Music Christoph M. Kaiser, Julian Maas
Sound Design Stefan Soltau
Sound Stefan Soltau
Production Design Sebastian Soukup
Costumes Esther Walz
Make-Up Ayten Morgenstern
Casting Nessie Nesslauer
Assistant Director Kai Siggelkow
Production Managers Holger Härtl, Melanie Berke
Producer Thomas Kufus
Co-Producers Kalle Friz, Sandrine Mattes, Caroline von Senden, Miriam Düssel, Susanne Freyer, Stefanie Hufschmidt
Co-Production Studiocanal Film GmbH Berlin
ZDF Mainz
Akzente Film & Fernsehproduktion Unterföhring
WunderWerk Unterföhring
Executive Producer Thomas Kufus

Lars Kraume

Born in Chieri, Italy in 1973, he grew up in Frankfurt am Main in Germany. After working as an assistant to advertising and portrait photographers, he directed his first short film in 1992. In 1994 he took up a degree at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) where his graduation film, Dunckel, won the Adolf Grimme Award. A writer and director, his recent directing work includes episodes for the German TV crime series, 'Tatort' . His films No Songs of Love (2005) and Good Morning, Mr. Grothe (2007) have screened in Panorama and his political thriller The People vs. Fritz Bauer won the 2016 German Film Award.


1993 3.21 Uhr; short film 1995 Bernie; short film 1996 Zahltag; short film 1997 Life Is Too Short To Dance With Ugly Women; short film · King Of The Elephants; short film · Einsatz Hamburg Süd; TV series, several episodes 1998 Dunckel; TV movie · Dunckel; TV film · Der Mörder meiner Mutter; TV movie 2001 Viktor Vogel – Commercial Man 2004 Tatort; TV series, one episode 2005 Tatort; TV series, one episode · Keine Lieder über Liebe (No Songs of Love) · Der Elefant; TV movie 2007 Guten Morgen, Herr Grothe (Good Morning, Mr. Grothe) · KDD – Kriminaldauerdienst; TV series, several episodes 2008 Der frühe Abschied 2010 Die kommenden Tage (The Coming Days) 2011 Tatort; TV series, one episode · Tatort; TV series, one episode 2012 Tatort; TV series, one episode 2013 Meine Schwestern (My Sisters) · Meine Schwestern 2015 Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (The People vs. Fritz Bauer) · Familienfest 2016 Terror; TV movie · Terror 2017 Das schweigende Klassenzimmer (The Silent Revolution) 2019 Die neue Zeit (Bauhaus – A New Era); TV series 2023 Der vermessene Mensch

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023