O.K.

Easter, 1966. A ceasefire is in place. A few GIs are digging trenches, playing cards, speaking in their thick Bavarian dialect and bullying one other. Produced by Rob Houwer and directed by Michael Verhoeven, the black-and-white feature O.K. transposes the Vietnam War to the Bavarian forest, letting the camera freely roll and framing the plot with alienation techniques, whereby the viewer sees the actors slipping in and out of their roles. When Eva Mattes, playing Phan Ti Mao, cycles past the cleared forest, the soldiers come up with a brutal idea. What then happens is based on an actual war crime. In 1970, the film caused a scandal. Jury president George Stevens and most of his fellow jurors thought that it was anti-American and demanded that it be removed from the Competition. The ensuing controversy led to the festival’s collapse and no prizes were awarded. There was a new beginning in 1971 with the foundation of the International Forum of New Cinema. We are presenting the premiere of the newly digitised version of the film, which was created by the Filmmuseum München.
by Michael Verhoeven
With Friedrich von Thun, Hartmut Becker, Wolfgang Fischer, Ewald Prechtl, Michael Verhoeven, Eva Mattes, Gustl Bayrhammer, Rolf Castell, Rolf Zacher, Peter Brandt
Federal Republic of Germany 1970 German 76’ Black/White

With

  • Friedrich von Thun (Sergeant Tony Meserve)
  • Hartmut Becker (Corporal Ralph Clark)
  • Wolfgang Fischer (Private Rafe)
  • Ewald Prechtl (Private Manuel Diaz)
  • Michael Verhoeven (Private Sven Eriksson)
  • Eva Mattes (Phan Ti Mao)
  • Gustl Bayrhammer (Captain Vorst)
  • Rolf Castell (Lieutenant Reilly)
  • Rolf Zacher (Rowan)
  • Peter Brandt (Curly)

Crew

Written and directed byMichael Verhoeven
CinematographyIgor Luther
EditingMonika Pfefferle
MusicImproved Sound, Ltd.
SoundHaymo Henry Heyder
Make-upKarl Schuster
Assistant DirectorMaxie Brandt
Production ManagerWalter Saxer
ProducerRob Houwer
Executive ProducerJürgen Dohme

Produced by

Rob Houwer Film GmbH & CoKG

München, Germany

World sales

Edison Filmgesellschaft mbH

Berlin, Germany

+49 30 91547328

Michael Verhoeven

Born in Berlin in 1938. He studied Medicine, and worked as an actor. His Berlinale competition entry O.K. provoked a scandal, leading the jury to resign during the festival, which was then ended prematurely. His oeuvre includes more than 50 film and television productions.

Filmography

1967 Paarungen; 83 min. 1969 Tische; 10 min. 1970 Der Bettenstudent oder: Was mach' ich mit den Mädchen?; 83 min. 1973 Ein unheimlich starker Abgang; 86 min. 1976 MitGift; 110 min. 1980 Sonntagskinder; 100 min. 1982 Die weiße Rose; 123 min. 1986 Killing Cars; 104 min. 1988 Semmelweis Ignaz – Arzt der Frauen; 117 min. 1989 Das schreckliche Mädchen (The Nasty Girl); 92 min., Competition 1990 1990 Schlaraffenland; 105 min. 1995 Mutters Courage (My Mother's Courage); 92 min., Competition (out of competition) 1996 2006 Der unbekannte Soldat; 102 min. 2008 Menschliches Versagen; 91 min. 2012 Die zweite Hinrichtung – Amerika und die Todesstrafe; 90 min. 2014 Glückskind; 89 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020