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Hitler - A Film from Germany (Hitler - Ein Film aus Deutschland)

Hitler - A Film from Germany

With Hitler - A Film from Germany, the great arc that began with the feature film Ludwig roughly a century before arrives at its conclusion. We do not see the figures of the Hitler past but actors playing them, as if on our behalf; nor do we see Hitler the person, but a film from Germany that Hitler directed, that was Hitler, the creation of his own fantasy.

The structure of the work is a many-layered montage of sound and visual leitmotifs, and of references to history and film in the form of original documentary sound material from the 30s and 40s, of musical quotations and Syberberg's own new projection technique. It is the most articulate expression to date of his theory of cinema as the music of the future, as inner projection and as the extension of life with other means.


Hans-Juergen Syberberg was born in 1935 in Pomerania/Eastern Germany. In 1947 he moved to Rostock where he came into contact with the theater, music and cinema in the form of Sovexport and DEFA. He also came into contact with Benno Besson of Brecht's Berlin Ensemble and through him was invited by Brecht to Berlin where he made his first film, in 8 mm. In 1955, he moved from East to West Germany, studying literature and art history in Munich. Between 1963 and 1965 he produced over eighty television programs and two music films about Fritz Kortner. In 1965 he became his own producer. Syberberg's works include, among others, Ludwig (1972), Karl May (1974), Winfried Wagner und die Geschichte des Hauses Wahnfried (1975), Hitler - A Film from German (Hitler - Ein Film aus Deutschland, 1977), Parsival (1982), Die Nacht (1985), Fraeulein Else (1987), Penthesilea (1987), Die Marquise von O. (1989), A Dream, What Else? (Ein Traum, was sonst, 1994), and Syberberg Films Brecht (1993).
Genre Art
Category Feature
Year of Production 1977
Director Hans-Juergen Syberberg
Screenplay Hans-Juergen Syberberg
Cinematography Dietrich Lohmann
Jutta Brandstaetter
L.v. Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Cast Peter Kern, Harry Baer, Heinz Schubert, André Heller
Producer Bernd Eichinger
Production Company TMS Film/Munich, in co-production with BBC/London, INA/Paris
Length 445 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions French, English
Sound Technology Mono
Festivals Cannes 1977, Melbourne 1980, Hong Kong 1989
German Distributor TMS Film/Munich