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TERROR 2000 Christoph Schlingensief, D 1992, 79 min

They sought love and found only hatred - the even more disgusting, more evil and more perverse peak of the German Trilogy

After ex-gangster Bössler (Alfred Edel) and Jablo (Udo Kier) have found asylum in Rassau-City, - the one is the owner of a furniture store now, the other of a little church -, they use their forces exclusively to cleansing Germany in the sense of the Rostock pogrom. Only after they finished off a Polish family and a Western German social worker on the ride in the refugee train Rassau, the detectives of the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (Peter Kern/ Margit Carstensen) set out for Rassau and get into the vortex of the speeding events:
A motorcyclist looses his face to Helmut Kohl.
The refugee home management thinks of Treblinka concentration camp.
The priest assaults a Thai woman.
The shared past of all people involved strikes with mercyless impact: The Gladbeck hostage drama
When also the Nazis, a miracle healer and the minister come, Germany shows its true face.
After THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE and 100 JEARS OF ADOLF HITTLER the last part of the German Trilogy.
Hatred, love, sexuality.
Germany in the year 1 after Rostock.
A hectic film in hectic times.

Interview with Christoph Schlingensief on TERROR 2000

The crown of creation: Man, the pig

TERROR 2000 is impertinent, do you want to needle your audience?

My work is not about provocation, I believe in the logics of images and the logics of development. I shot the film in May, before the riots in Rostock happened. It's an anticipation of the real events. My films always contain the element fear. I deal with my fears by using off the source of fear and by nailing it down as an image. TV- and newspaper images can't cope here, they're too isolated.

In TERROR 2000 not only the criminal hostage-takers exert violence but also the detectives and the asylum-seekers, the are all the same.

TERROR 2000, just like the whole trilogy is about showing that everyone is a pig: the Nazi, the asylum-seeker, the leftist, we, as Thomas Bernhard said: the crown of creation - man, the pig. Once you know that you can also differenciate. If you say, all people are pigs, that means that man is naturally evil. That would be one conclusion, another would be to retreat into a barrel like Diogenes. Such images are more understandable to me now as five years ago. But if I continue making films, I can only see my task in taking up the fight against the ones who believe they can tell others how to live in order to be happy.
The private political decision is coming up more and more, as Adelheid Streidel, a mad woman, said. After running up to Oskar Lafontaine and sticking a dagger into his throat she said the reason was a private political decision. When the family in Zagreb decides to beat loose, and the man in India finds a trick to get to Europe, these are private political decisions. This is an element which will grow more and more.

But in the course of the German reunification there is a tendency of the state taking up more and more space

Politics aim at a situation where the ones who are better off will be even better off, because of course they are the ones who sustain the state. Strictly speaking the state can't do anything but protecting its system and breeding an upper class. The Nazis named it master race.

Violence and sex form a strong unity in your films.

I think sexuality is a very strong human factor. But love is decisive. Every plant which is beaten five times or is put under a stone, gives up at some point. The people who attack the refugee homes have the feeling they are loved. They misconceive applause for real love. They don't know who they are and what function they have in this. The second point is that they don't have walls anymore. I believe everybody nees some walls in their head. Not in the sense of the GDR-wall - a wall built by the state - but in the sense of an inner limit, that makes you say: I go up to here and not further.

That means you approve of "positive walls" being set. How is this supposed to happen?

I don't know how these new walls are to be created. I just know that our value system is hypocritical. The core of life is something very simple, trivial and nice, above all somthing soft, but not something stupid.

Is there a thin red line from 100 JEARS OF ADOLF HITTLER to THE GERMAN CHAINSAW MASSACRE to TERROR 2000: German history as an orbit of open violence?

In my films the mechanics of violence become visible. Their ethics is truth, also in showing the basic structures of violence, leaving behind all the superstructures in interpretations. The violence shown appaers as totally pointless, you don't know if you are supposed to laugh or cry. Anarchists and others have always tried to impute a historical, a religious or some other sense to terror. In my film I show pure terror, demystified, meaningless.

In what tradition do you see yourself?

I see myself in the tradition of New German Cinema, which doesn't mean that I conform to it entirely. I believe that in the editing, montage and in the way images clash in my films, there is a development. With the medium film you have the opportunity to create a kind of school of seeing, this is what I tried.


conversation: Udo Lemke, Sächsische Zeitung

(c) DEM Film

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Press Coverage

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