The anti-psychiatric Socialist Patients' Collective (SPK) was founded in Heidelberg in 1970 and attributed individual suffering to society’s capitalist structures. It began as a self-organised experiment in group therapy led by doctor Wolfgang Huber with psychiatric patients, featuring Hegel readings and individual agitation, before subsequently radicalising, which ended in criminal proceedings against its members, some of whom went underground with the Red Army Faction. This film examines a little known chapter in West German history in impressive, unpretentious fashion. A precise picture of the social climate leading up to the German Autumn emerges from painstakingly researched documents, such as records from the interior ministry and the university, press photos and TV reports, trips to Stammheim prison and to Italy, as well as from conversations with former SPK – sometimes RAF – members, lawyers and state police. The skilled interview techniques produce genuine encounters with those in front of the camera, as they look back on their lives and the SPK and dig out old papers, the question of their resistance hanging in the air – all different layers of Kroske’s historiography.
Documentary form111 min · Colour & Black/White
Born in 1958 in Dessau. He studied Cultural Sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and Directing at the Academy for Film and Television Konrad Wolf in Potsdam-Babelsberg. From 1987 to 1991, he worked as a writer and dramaturge at the DEFA documentary studio. Gerd Kroske has been making his own films since the autumn of 1989, and has worked as a freelance writer and director since 1991.Filmography
1989 Cassiber; 30 min. · Leipzig im Herbst (Leipzig in the Fall); 50 min. 1990 La Vilette; 52 min. · Kehraus (Sweeping); 28 min. 1991 Kurt – oder du sollst lachen (Kurt – You Shall Laugh); 30 min. 1994 Vokzal-Bahnhof Brest (Terminus Brest); 91 min. 1997 Kehrein, kehraus (Sweep it Up, Sweep it Down); 70 min. · Galeria; 101 min. 2000 Der Boxprinz (The Boxing Prince); 97 min. 2004 Autobahn Ost (Highway East); 90 min. 2006 Die Stundeneiche (The Our Oak); 60 min. · Kehraus, wieder (Sweep it Up, Again); 100 min. 2007 Wollis Paradies (Wolli in Paradise); 60 min. 2008 Schranken (Bounds); 95 min. 2012 Heino Jaeger – Look Before You Kuck; 120 min. 2014 Striche ziehen (Drawing a Line); 96 min. 2015 Grenzpunkt Beton (Circuit End Point); 20 min. 2018 SPK Komplex (SPK Complex)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018