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Brecht - The Women. The Wars. The Price.

Biopic 2017 to 2018 arte
Photo: Stefan Falke, Nik Konietzny

Bertolt Brecht, a theatre revolutionary, poet of the state, outsider, looks back on his life in 1956, the year of his death, in East Berlin: from provocations in the Augsburg of the First World War, to the early poetic and amorous height flights in Munich and Berlin in the 1920s, his escape from Hitler and US exile, followed by his later years caught in a dilemma between timeless classic and a failing GDR class fighter, an inflexible free man and a compromised Artist.

„I will show the world how it really is,” the pupil Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht told a friend, and he said: “I’ll come right after Goethe.” It was an early mission, and it looked like pure megalomania. The two-parter traces the paths and wrong ways in which the gifted sickly, shy and at the same time cheeky boy finally, despite the most turbulent times, became the most influential playwright of the German language in the world – almost as much hated as admired on his way. Brecht’s love and friendship relationships, the competing ones, the temporary ones, the lifelong ones, are closely linked to this unique career.

Over a period of 40 years, Heinrich Breloer tells the story of the life of the most frequently played German playwright of the 20th century, a life so moved by art, women and contemporary history. By the end of the 1970s, Heinrich Breloer had already approached the figure of Brecht with a television documentary and had many conversations with contemporary witnesses. Numerous interviews with Brecht’s employees and companions from recent years were added to the current film. Together with documentary material from the archives and intensive research, they complete the documentary fiction.

8:15 pm arte
Broadcast Date
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Grimme-Preis Fiction "Special" Heinrich Breloer nominated
Venice TV Award Best Documentary nominated
Deutscher Schauspielpreis Best Leading Actress Adele Neuhauser nominated

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer
Jan S. Kaiser, Corinna Eich
Georg Höss, Heinrich Ambrosch, Michal Pokorny, Zbynek Pippal
Katharina Beyrich
Bavaria Filmproduktion Köln, SATEL Film in Koproduktion mit WDR, BR, SWR, NDR, ARTE
Service production
MIA Film
Production Funding
Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Tschechischer Staatsfond für Kinematografie
Das Erste / ARTE
Commissioning Editor
Dr. B. Buhl (WDR), Dr. C. Ackers (BR), S. M. Dujmovic (SWR), C. Granderath (NDR), A. Schreitmüller (ARTE)
Dr. Heinrich Breloer
Dr. Heinrich Breloer
Director of Photography
Gernot Roll
Burghart Klaußner, Tom Schilling, Adele Neuhauser, Lou Strenger, Mala Emde, Karolina Horster, Trine Dyrholm, Franz Hartwig, Ernst Stötzner, Friederike Becht, Leonie Benesch, Maria Dragus, Laura de Boer
Heta Matscheff
Line Producer
Gilbert Möhler, Tahmee Theiler, Mareike Lueg (WDR)
Production Supervisor
Udo Happel
Set Design
Christoph Kanter
Costume Design
Ute Paffendorf
Silka Lisku
Hans-Peter Ströer
Music Mix
Christian Neff
Miroslav Píbil
Claudia Wolscht

Executive Producer

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