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LIEB VATERLAND MAGST RUHIG SEIN Roland Klick, D 1975, 88 min

Berlin 1964 fugitive transports are a flourishing business - a Simmel-book and a Klick-Film!

East German small-time crook Bruno (Heimz Domez) is told by the authorities that he will be pardoned if he goes to West Berlin and kidnaps the person responsible for smuggling people out of the East. In West Berlin, he becomes a double agent in the hope of starting a new life there with his lover - working with West Germans and Americans to capture the same people who sent him. As Bruno gets caught in the cross-fire, he finds out that neither side can be trusted.

Klick, originally intended to only adapting Simmel's novel for Curd Jürgens, ended up directing himself with a young and aspiring Bernd Eichinger as producer. In a brilliant stroke of adaptation, Klick condensed the 600-page-novel into a haunting, slick 90-minute film that is in equal parts action thriller, spy film and melodrama.
With wonderful camerawork by Jost Vacano two years after their unforgettable collaboration on SUPERMARKET and engaging, dynamic editing, the film never loses pace up to its harrowing conclusion.

In true Klick fashion, Klick casts an amateur actor: after a small supporting part in SUPERMARKET, Klick gives Heinz Domez the main stage - under tremendous critical acclaim.
Just as Willi in SUPERMARKET, Bruno, who becomes a pawn in the hands of the powerful, is not a victim, but a cinematic loser in the best possible sense, and, ultimately, a tragic hero.

Johannes Mario Simmel considered LIEB VATERLAND MAGST RUHIG SEIN to be his best film adaptation and the better version of the book - if he were to write the book again, he would write it just like the screenplay.

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