Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Berlinale Special Gala

Le jeune Karl Marx

The Young Karl Marx

Der junge Karl Marx

Pascal Bonitzer (Screenwriter), August Diehl (Actor), Raoul Peck (Director, Screenwriter), Hannah Steele (Actress), Stefan Konarske (Actor), Moderation: Anatol Weber

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1844. Karl Marx is 26 years old and living with his wife Jenny in exile in Paris. He is habitually in debt and plagued by existential anxieties. When he first meets the slightly younger factory owner’s son Friedrich Engels he dismisses him as a dandy. But Engels, who has just published a study on the miserable impoverishment of the English proletariat, has long since begun to distance himself from his own class. The two like-minded men become friends and soon inspire each other to write texts in which they seek to provide a theoretical foundation for the revolution they believe must come. Their goal is no longer to merely interpret the world, but to change it. Fundamentally. Resistance on the part of conservative forces and internal power struggles within the political Left only serve to spur them on.
Raoul Peck describes the origins of the international Socialist movement, the emergence of the Communist League and its founding document, the Communist Manifesto. At the same time, the film paints a portrait of two impetuous young men who passionately believe in the vision of a humane society and the revolutionary power of the abused and oppressed.

Raoul Peck

France / Germany / Belgium 2017

French, German, English

112’ · Colour

Rating R12


August Diehl (Karl Marx)
Stefan Konarske (Friedrich Engels)
Vicky Krieps (Jenny Marx)
Olivier Gourmet (Pierre Proudhon)
Michael Brandner (Joseph Moll)
Alexander Scheer (Wilhelm Weitling)
Hannah Steele (Mary Burns)
Niels Bruno Schmidt (Karl Grün)


Raoul Peck
Pascal Bonitzer, Raoul Peck
Kolja Brandt
Frédérique Broos
Alexei Aigui
Jörg Theil, Benoît Biral
Art Director
Benoît Barouh
Paule Mangenot
Anne Moralis
Sylvie Brocheré
Nicolas Blanc, Rémi Grellety, Robert Guédiguian, Raoul Peck
Benny Drechsel, Karsten Stöter, Patrick Quintet
Rohfilm GmbH, Berlin
Artémis Productions, Brüssel


Raoul Peck

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1953, he grew up in Zaire and the USA and studied in France, the USA and at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. In 1993 his feature film L’homme sur les quais (The Man by the Shore) was the first Caribbean film to screen in Competition at Cannes. Between 1996 and 1997 he was Minister of Culture in Haiti. He was member of the Berlinale International Jury in 2002 and of the competition jury in Cannes in 2012. His feature films and documentaries have screened frequently in the Berlinale, most recently Meurtre à Pacot (Murder in Pacot) in the Panorama.


1988 Haitian Corner 1991 Lumumba – Death of a Prophet; documentary 1993 L’homme sur les Quais (The Man by the Shore) 1994 Desounen: Dialogue with Death; documentary · Haiti – Le silence des chiens (Haiti, Silence of the Dogs); documentary 2000 Lumumba 2001 Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle; documentary 2005 Sometimes in April 2009 Moloch Tropical; IFB Berlinale Special 2012 Assistance Mortelle (Fatal Assistance); documentary 2014 Meurtre à Pacot (Murder in Pacot); IFB Panorama 2016 I Am Not Your Negro; documentary 2017 Le jeune Karl Marx (The Young Karl Marx)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

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