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Reverse Shot - Rebellion of the Filmmakers (Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher)

Reverse Shot - Rebellion of the Filmmakers
Scene from "Reverse Shot - Rebellion of the Filmmakers" (photo © Michael Friedel)

The filmmakers of the New German Cinema, like Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and others represent the young, rebellious cinema of the post-Adenauer period. The documentary Reverse Shot – Rebellion of the Filmmakers, illustrates the story about the gravitational center of the movement: the legendary Filmverlag der Autoren (The Authors' Film Publishing Company).

Reverse Shot – Rebellion of the Filmmakers is, however, much more than just a documentation of motion picture history: it is the portrait of an artist community, the profile of a generation. It presents the key protagonists of the German film miracle of the 1970s and illuminates the background of this success story: the campaign of this small group of young, independent ‘Autorenfilmer’ for self-determined work conditions in opposition to the external regulations by a wealthy production industry with age-old values is actually the existing conflict between the first German post-war generation and that of their forefathers, who learned their craft in the film industry of the Third Reich. Interviews, film excerpts and rare, some even yet unpublished archive footage, have been woven together by filmmakers Laurens Straub and Dominik Wessely. The result is a rise-and-fall-story in the great tradition of grand cinema featuring: Friendship. Success. Jealousy. Destruction. Death.


Laurens Straub was born in 1944 in Holland and passed away in 2007. After relocating to Germany in 1963, he studied Acting and worked as a dramaturg, assistant director and director for theater and film. In 1970, he was one of the co-founders of the Filmverlag der Autoren, and continued producing and teaching at various film academies and universities. In 1994 he founded the production company Next Film.

Dominik Wessely was born in 1966 in Munich, where studied Modern History, Art History and Philosophy, followed by studies in Direction and Documentary Film at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. Also active as a writer, a selection of his films includes: Schwarzwaldbilder (documentary, 1994), Anti-Sisyphos (documentary, 1995), Das Herz ist der Motor (documentary, 1996), Liegestuetz und Schiessgewehr (1997), Die Blume der Hausfrau (documentary, 1998), Himmel und Erde (TV, 1999), Guidecca (documentary, 2003), Gottes Plan und Menschen Hand (documentary, 2004), Patient Landarzt (documentary, 2005, in co-direction with Meinhard Pril), Windstaerke 8 - Das Auswandererschiff 1855 (docuseries, 2005, in co-direction with Arne Sinnwell & Gabriele Wengler), Unternehmen Theresienthal! (documentary, 2006, in co-direction with Marcus Vetter), and Reverse Shot - Rebellion of the Filmmakers (Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher, documentary, 2008, in co-direction with Laurens Straub).
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Directors Laurens Straub, Dominik Wessely
Screenplay Dominik Wessely, Laurens Straub, Rainer Kölmel
Cinematography Knut Schmitz
Anja Pohl
Philipp F. Kölmel
Cast Wim Wenders, Hans W. Geißendörfer, Uwe Brandner, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peter Fleischmann, Alexander Kluge, Michael Fengler, Hark Bohm, Werner Herzog
Producer Rainer Kölmel
Production Company Starhaus Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with Filmverlag der Autoren/Leipzig, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, WDR
Length 121 min
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2008, Viareggio 2008, Melbourne 2008, Montreal 2008
With backing from German Federal Film Board, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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