Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Berlinale Special

GEGENSCHUSS - Aufbruch der Filmemacher

Reverse Angle - Rebellion of the Filmmakers

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Werner Herzog. Wim Wenders. Three directors whose names are synonymous with the emergence of West German cinema from decades of post-war insignificance. An important co-architect of this new departure was the Filmverlag der Autoren – a production and distribution co-operative founded by thirteen filmmakers in Munich in April 1971. Besides Wim Wenders, the initial members included Uwe Brandner, Michael Fengler, Hans Noever, Peter Lilienthal, Thomas Schamoni and Laurens Straub. Within just a few years, the Filmverlag was to become the platform for an entire generation of German filmmakers.
GEGENSCHUSS tells the story of this unusual collective of auteurs – from its beginnings in Munich during the 1960s, to the international successes at Cannes and the disintegration of the group in 1977. This film is a portrait of an artistic community – and a generation. For the struggle of a small group of independent young filmmakers for self-determination in the face of the hegemony of an older generation of financially solvent producers, was in fact a conflict between the first post-war generation in Germany and their fathers, who had learned their craft working for the film industry during the Third Reich. Filmmakers Laurens Straub, who died in 2007, and Dominik Wessely interweave interviews, film excerpts and hitherto partially unpublished archive footage to tell the story of the rise and fall of this organisation in a film that has all the ingredients of a big screen drama: friendship, success, jealousy, destruction and death.

Germany 2007, 121 min


Dominik Wessely

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