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The 120 Days of Bottrop

GER 1997, 60 min

The surviver of the Fassbinder family meet on Potsdamer Platz for the shooting of the Last New German Film – a remake of Pasolini’s THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM.


Chaos total: Director Schlingensief, degraded to a set manager, will be replaced by an unknown, who get’s the Bundesfilmpreis award. Film as a nightmare – or vice versa.
Producer Volker Spengler sends an agent (Christoph Schlingensief) to Hollywood where he meets Udo Kier, Kitten Natividad and Roland Emmerich on a mission to raise money and get ex-Visconti superstar Helmut Berger to appear in the film.
Depicting a German cultural scene at the turn of the century that still has not come to terms with the legacy of New German Cinema, Schlingensief tackles the topic once and for all: with endless references both open and obscure, Schlingensief takes the process of de- and reconstruction just far enough to both completely demystify and pay tribute to an era and its heritage. With appearances from the German film, TV and theatre scene, many actors, contributors and cultural icons appear as themselves; but Schlingensief is not afraid to resurrect some of the dead, only to kill them off again: part parody, part heartfelt homage, THE 120 DAYS OF BOTTROP gives New German Cinema its final coup de grâce.


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Language: German, Subtitles: English, Polish, Spanish

Awards and Festivals

- Internationale Hofer Filmtage
- Viennale – Vienna International Film Festival 1997

Additional Texts

Best Of Interviews on the German Theatrical Release of DIE 120 TAGE VON BOTTROP
Christoph Schlingensief

Kultur Extra (Spiegel): Mister Schlingensief, you can be seen and heard on all channels at the moment. First you put on “48 hours survival for Germany” at documenta in Kassel, and while doing it, you were arrested, then you hit the headines with your talk show at the German TV-Station RTL, and after your “Railway Mission” at Hamburg Playhouse now the premiere of your new film is coming up. Why this extasy of production?

For me this is a test track. We have just a bit more than two years to go until the turn of the millennium. From 2000 on everything will be different, won't it? Cars can fly, we feed on pills. But until then anything goes, just do it. I'm doing it with a pure lust of doing.

Kultur Extra: And what will be after the last New German Film?

If they give me the Four Seasons, I would like to become a hotel owner and manage it for half a year. Or I become a bus driver, one of those who drives around with a microphone in their hand and show places to people. I don't like being on earth, but once I'm here, at least I want to experience a couple of things.

Die Zeit: What does Fassbinder mean to you?

I like it if somebody does so many things. I believe that he has been misjudged for a cynic who just had a look into all the genres to see what's left, and then blasted himself into space.

Die Zeit: When auteurism is over now ... You are an auteur, aren't you?

One should have a castle in Scotland, invite friends, make films, and then send them the tapes. But if that doesn't work, I think one should drag the actors into some village for three weeks and shoot something there on location without screenplay. We don't need to bring ourselves to perfection. We have to raise the quota of mistakes in film. Make mistakes.

Kino News: Your opinion on the medium TV is very determined ...

If I was the federal chancellor, I would have a few TV-editors brought here to the Grand Hotel in Berlin, would have them arrested behind barbed wire and watchtowers. I would feed them with lobster and caviar all day, and in TV they would have to watch their own productions all the time. Suicide would definitely be in sight here. I would hide a gun for them somewhere.


Director and Director of Photography
Christoph Schlingensief
Udo Kier, Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Volker Spengler, Martin Wuttke, Sophie Rois, Bernhard Schütz, Helmut Berger, Ilse und Kurt Garzaner, Mario Garzaner, Gerry Jochum, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt, Brigitte Kausch-Kuhlbrodt, Kerstin Grassmann, Charlotte Siebenrock, Ralf Fütterer, Achim von Paczensky, Wolfgang Wimmer, Jonny Pfeifer, Frank Koch, Baronin von Berswordt-Wallrabe, Oskar Roehler, Harry Hass, Regina Kalala, Kurt Kren, Frank Castorf, Leander Haußmann, Regina Ziegler, Juliane Lorenz, Roland Emmerich, Kitten Natividad, Herbert Fritsch, Steffen Schult, a.m.o.
Christoph Schlingensief, Oskar Roehler
Assistant Director
Clemens Schönborn, Ralph Remstedt
Assistant Camera
Janne Busse
Director of Photography & Lightning Design
Voxi Bärenklau
Uli Graefe
Kornel Miglus, Ralph Brosche
B/W - Camera
Kurt Kren
Bettina Böhler
Assistant Editor
Simone Hofmann
Andreas Koeppen
Assistant Sound
Eoin Moore
Helge Schneider, Sonoton Musikverlag
Charlotte Siebenrock
Set Decorator
Petra Korink, Bettina Ruhland, Anette Kuhn
Assistant Set Decorator
Armgard Meyer, Nico Schaar
Costume Design
Tabea Braun
Assistant Costume
Dagmar Fabisch
Make-up Artist
Heide Hass, Babette Brösicke
Production Coordinator
Bernadette Werrelmann, Nana Rebhan
Dagmar Rohden
Line Producer
Renée Gundelach
Bianka Aybar, Pavel Bogdanovic, Silke Koch, Harald Kuhn, Stefan Mohr
Tanja Wildmann
Assistant Material
Anja Knoblauch
Still Photography
Gudrun Widlok, Erik Hackenschmidt
Berliner Partergarten
Matthias Lempert, Ruhrsound Studios Dortmund
Executive Producer
Henning Nass
Assistant Producer
Robert Koall
Production Manager
Monique Tissot
Filmbüro NW, Filmstiftung NRW, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Christoph Post
In collaboration with
Produced by
Neue Volksfilm, DEM Film
German Premiere
24.+25.10.1997, Hof International Film Festival
Theatrical Release


Restored film, 2K scan, original theatrical version
Alexander Kluge in conversation with Christoph Schlingensief (1997, 11 min – English subtitles), Christoph Schlingensief – Interview (2004, 2 min – English subtitles), Promo video for film funding (1997, 5 min), Making-Of (1997, 70 min), Outtakes (1997, 31 min), Christoph Schlingensief in conversation with film critics (1998, 21 min), Schlingensief - film trailer
English, Spanish, Polish subtitles
Country Code
PAL / Color
60 min + 140 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 2.0
Digipack (Set Inhalt: 1), 28-page booklet with texts and photos
Release date
From 12 years

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 24 fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc
16mm (16mm Lichtton, Mono, contact Deutsche Kinemathek)
Aspect Ratio
16mm, 1:1,38
English (DCP, BD)
Promotion Material
A1 poster (rent only)
License Area
From 12 years