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Hans Jürgen Syberberg

"For me, political art (...) is only credible if it risks something. You have to go so deep into the wound that you come under suspicion."

Photo: Hans Jürgen Syberberg (l.) and Susan Sontag (r.)

GER 2023

Hans Jürgen Syberberg’s latest work is an exploration in words and images of Demmin, a town close to the village, where he grew up as a child.  The film refers to the history of the town where one of the largest mass suicides took place at the end of the Second World War. It documents the attempts, initiated by Syberberg himself in recent decades in the form of artistic interventions on site, to reanimate the central market square as a community space. Syberberg is not concerned with restoring old conditions, but with questions of community in a place that has lost its center.

GER 1985, 367 min

A musical monologue. In a dark room. In the tradition of recurring songs, night songs, hymns to the night, letters, cycles, fragments, figures and images by Novalis, Hölderlin, Goethe, Michelangelo and Goya.

A work of extreme reduction, of asceticism. A single person. Instead of history, meditation on history. Instead of action, silence. Instead of projections, darkness in space. Instead of the outer world, the inner world, beyond things.

GER 1972, 139 min

Rather depicting the life of the Bavarian king, LUDWIG – REQUIEM FOR A VIRGIN KING dives into the images of his dreams – which he mistook for reality. 

LUDWIG – REQUIEM FOR A VIRGIN KING is the first part of Hans Jürgen Syberberg’s German Trilogy. Syberberg continued the trilogy in 1974 with KARL MAY and concluded it in 1977 with HITLER, A FILM FROM GERMANY (1977).

FR/GER 1982, 244 min

Syberberg’s celebrated version of PARSIFAL was made on the one hundredth anniversary of the opera's first performance at Bayreuth in 1882 and is staged around the looming presence of a huge replica of Wagner’s death mask.

GER 1974, 187 min

A biopic portraying Karl May’s attempt to gain artistic recognition despite his controversial past.

KARL MAY is the second part of Hans Jürgen Syberberg’s GERMAN TRILOGIE, which also includes LUDWIG REQUIEM FOR A VIRGIN KING and OUR HITLER, A FILM FROM GERMANY.

GER/FR/GB 1977, 442 min

Not porno, not underground film, not a good entertainment film, not documentary, not social criticism nor Hollywood boulevard film or horror show: rather a journey into the midst of night, a hell ride to paradise lost, into our inner self. The mystery play of a historical dance of death in the black studio of our phantasy, the ascetic “Trauerarbeit” (toils of mourning) on the end of an epoch, millions of dead. In old times one would have called it an epos, a poem, requiem, oratorio; an attempt to find a new German identity through film.

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