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Napoleon for a While (Fuer kurze Zeit Napoleon)

Napoleon for a While
Scene from "Napoleon for a While" (photo © maxim film/M. Kind)

He is creative and full of ideas and can't be stopped. He has been unemployed for 15 years... And he was Napoleon.

Napoleon for a While chronicles the epic attempts of an individual to solve life's problems by becoming famous. Twenty years ago, when Wolfgang Krone worked in a German truck factory, he embarked on a project to produce a feature film epic about Napoleon's campaign in Russia. Krone realized his cinematographic dreams on super-8: horses galloping, mock-up cannons smoking – Krone himself playing Napoleon. Slowly, Krone became a local hero. Afterwards, no one wanted to see the film. But for Krone one thing remained clear, he would become an artist. Wolfgang Krone tried his luck as a playwright, a garden architect, a musical producer and as a singer. While all his projects failed, this didn't stop him. The motto of this modern Don Quixote is: He who fights won't sink.

Napoleon for a While is about modern man's thirst for celebrity. About the loneliness and the simple need to be loved that feeds the thirst.


Bart van Esch was born in 1964 in The Hague/The Netherlands. After studying Film at the Free Academy of the Arts in The Hague, he co-founded the production company Video Persgroep Amsterdam (VPA) and was its chairmain until 1993. His films include: You Can't Go Home Again (1998) about the Amsterdam exile of Klaus Mann and Napoleon for a While (Fuer kurze Zeit Napoleon, 2004).
Genre Tragicomedy
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2004
Director Bart van Esch
Screenplay Bart van Esch
Cinematography Adri Schrover (NSC)
Katja Dringenberg
Wolfgang Krone
Producer Peter Roloff
Production Company maxim film/Bremen & Berlin, in co-production with Metropolitan Pictures/Amsterdam
Length 90 min
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions Dutch, English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Ophuels Festival Saarbruecken 2005, HotDocs Toronto 2005
With backing from Nordmedia, Dutch Film Fund
German Distributor Salzgeber & Co. Medien/Berlin

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