Across from the citadel at Dömitz, Robert Lander crashes his VW Beetle in to the Elbe, right at the spot where Bruno Winter has just spent the night in his truck, making him the sole witness to this absurd act. He fishes the world-weary man out of the water. Together the two of them travel on in the old furniture truck, along the GDR border from Wendland down to Hof. On the way, Bruno repairs projectors in provincial movie theatres. A taciturn friendship develops between the cinema technician and the child psychologist. Not until both men finally speak their minds in an abandoned American observation post near the border strip and end up in a heated argument, do “King of the Road” and “Kamikaze” go their separate ways.
This road movie was made without a screenplay. It was shot chronologically, with the original on-site sound and in black and white. Developed strictly out of its locations, this “story about the absence of women, which is at the same time the story of the desire that they be present” (Wenders) documents everyday life in passing: abandoned stretches of land, movie theatres, local newspapers, vehicles and jukeboxes. (Wim Wenders Stiftung. A Foundation)
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) 1976, 176 min
Hans Dieter Traier