A German Life

Christian Krönes, Olaf Müller, Roland Schrotthofer, Florian Weigensamer
  • Austria
  • 2016
  • 113min
  • DCP
  • B&W
  • Asian Premiere

Trailer

Synopsis

Although Brunhilde Pomsel, aged 105, always described herself as just being a side-line figure and not at all interested in politics, she used to work as secretary, stenographer and typist for the Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Brunhilde Pomsel’s life mirrors the major historical ruptures of the 20th century and German life thereafter. Nowadays, many people presume that the dangers of war and fascism have long been overcome. Brunhilde Pomsel makes it clear that they are deluded.

Director

  • Christian Krönes
    A German Life (2016)
  • Olaf Müller
    A German Life (2016)
  • Roland Schrotthofer
    A German Life (2016)
  • Florian Weigensamer
    A German Life (2016)
    Gola Zareen (2010)

Review

This documentary is about Brunhilde Pomsel, aged 105 who survived World War I and II, worked for the television network in Germany and for Joseph Goebbels, German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany as his secretary. She says she has no interest to politics. Although she insists that she was a mere employee of Goebbels, her life must have been influenced directly by the rise and fall of Nazi. The documentary presents her life as a personal one on one hand, but on the other hand, associates her personal story with the historical times and events through the use of found footage. The power of this documentary derives from the personal history of the one who is neither a victim nor a perpetrator; indeed, her position is closer to the perpetrator, which she would never admit and even is not aware of. Also the fact this film addresses the issues raised between the public and personal memory and between the official history and the personal experience makes it powerful. This documentary is packed with intense images. Pomsel’s face covered with wrinkles, the staple image throughout the film, visualizes the time inscribed on a human body. The close-ups of her face presented in various angles tell a lot to viewers. The news reels and propaganda films inserted during the documentary get viewers to experience the time of extreme situation while linking personal memory with the official history. A German Life lets viewers pay more attention to their own feeling and thoughts aroused while watching her story than to Pomsel’s life story. This documentary gets us to give attention not only to the story itself but also to the temper, the view of the world and the life which has forms the story. [Lee Seung-min]

Credits

  • Director  Christian Krönes, Olaf Müller, Roland Schrotthofer, Florian Weigensamer
  • Producer  Blackbox Film & Medienproduktion GmbH
  • Writer  Florian Weigensamer
  • Cinematographer  Frank van Vught, Davor Marinkovic
  • Editor  Christian Kermer
  • Sound  heimwerk.audio: Jürgen Kloihofer, Felix Sturmberger

Distribution / World Sales

  • Contribution / World Sales  Cinephil
  • Phone  972 3 566 4129
  • E-mail  ela@cinephil.co.il
  • Website  http://www.cinephil.com
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