Berlinale: Programme

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Perspektive Deutsches Kino



Baal is a young man, hungry for experience, burning with inner conflict and the desire for rebellion, change and controversy. Bertolt Brecht’s eponymous early work remains his most passionate creation. The protagonist is a young artist held to be a genius by society, who vehemently refuses to have any demands placed upon him. Women, patrons, critics, admirers – even his best friend – all fall prey to his lust for life. Finally, Baal himself is affected. Brecht wrote his play as a riposte to “Der Einsame”, in which Hanns Johst portrayed dramatist and Heine contemporary Christian Dietrich Grabbe as a demoniacal artist. Brecht’s definition of the relationship between art and life could not have been more different. His “Baal” is a chaotic elegy to the self, a rejection of indifference and the “dumbing down” of human existence.
Uwe Janson has reinterpreted the story using young actors, transposing it to our present-day world of contradictions. His dynamic adaptation dares to portray Baal from a modern perspective without, however, undermining the essence of the original character.

Germany 2003, 90 min


Uwe Janson


Matthias Schweighöfer
Pasquale Aleardi
Rike Schmid