Jazz singer and bongo player Tobby Fichelscher has received a tempting offer. He’s been invited to join a tour abroad, which would be well paid. But Tobby hesitates to accept. Because he wouldn’t be playing “his” music. Caught in a quandary about whether to choose art or career, he roams the city. He goes to a basement jazz club, a snack bar, the Wannsee beach; he meets fellow artists, an admirer, friends and acquaintances – and finally makes a decision… “The people and locations are real”. The film seems to be as improvised as its protagonist’s music. The associative editing, jump cuts and high shots made Tobby a pioneer of cinematic modernism, so of course it could not find a distributor. Whereby the documentary images do more than just give us a look at Berlin’s artistic niches and urban wastelands. In Tobby’s sessions with musician friends, the palaver within Kreuzberg’s bohemian world – especially during the five-minute drum and scat solo performed in the Gropius Bau, which had been destroyed in the war – the city becomes an echo chamber for his attitude towards life.
by Hansjürgen Pohland
with Tobias Fichelscher, Anik Fichelscher, Ed Fichelscher, Danny Fichelscher, Eva Häußler, Francis Conrad Charles
Federal Republic of Germany 1961 German, English 75’ Black/White & Colour DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek Rating R 18


  • Tobias Fichelscher
  • Anik Fichelscher
  • Ed Fichelscher
  • Danny Fichelscher
  • Eva Häußler
  • Francis Conrad Charles


Director Hansjürgen Pohland
Screenplay Hansjürgen Pohland, Siegfried Hofbauer
Cinematography Wolf Wirth
Editing Christa Pohland
Music Manfred Burzlaff
Sound Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, Günther Genth
Producer Hansjürgen Pohland

Additional information

DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek