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DREILEBEN - BEATS BEING DEAD (DREILEBEN - ETWAS BESSERES ALS DEN TOD)

DREILEBEN - BEATS BEING DEAD
Scene from DREILEBEN – BEATS BEING DEAD (photo © BR/Hans Fromm)

In the summer of 2006, film directors Dominik Graf, Christian Petzold and Christoph Hochhäusler began corresponding with each other on the subjects of film aesthetics, the Berlin School, Germany and the film genre (their correspondence was published in German film magazine Revolver). Two years later they decided to continue this theoretical discussion with a joint film project: three individual stories revolving around the same “fait divers”: the escape of a convicted criminal from police custody. Graf’s DON’T FOLLOW ME AROUND tells the story of a police psychologist who meets old acquaintances while investigating a case. In Petzold’s BEATS BEING DEAD a young man doing alternative national service experiences a love story without a future. And in Christoph Hochhäusler’s ONE MINUTES OF DARKNESS an indefatigable policeman hunting the escaped prisoner begins to doubt false certainties. Three films, three styles, three exciting approaches, variations, analyses.

A big hospital on the outskirts of a small city in the middle of the Thuringian Forest. Here Johannes carries out his alternative national service. The head physician, a family friend, has recruited him. Johannes gets to know Ana. During the night of their first embrace, a sex offender escapes from the hospital. His flight and the police’s hectic search accompany the story of Johannes and Ana – a love story transcending boundaries, without a future.


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden in 1960 and has lived in Berlin since 1981. He studied German Language and Literature before studying at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 1988 to 1994. His highly-acclaimed films include: PILOTINNEN (1995), CUBA LIBRE (1996), DIE BLEISCHLAFDIEBIN (1998), THE STATE I AM IN (DIE INNERE SICHERHEIT, 2000), SOMETHING TO REMIND ME (TOTER MANN, 2001), WOLFSBURG (2002), GHOSTS (GESPENSTER, 2004), YELLA (2006), JERICHOW (2008), DREILEBEN - BEATS BEING DEAD (DREILEBEN - ETWAS BESSERES ALS DEN TOD, 2011), BARBARA (2012), PHOENIX (2014), and TRANSIT (2018).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Christian Petzold
Screenplay Christian Petzold
Cinematography Hans Fromm
Cast Jacob Matschenz, Luna Zimic Mijovic
Producers Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Co-Producers Frank Tönsmann, Gebhard Henke, Bettina Reitz
Production Company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber/Berlin for Bayerischer Rundfunk
Length 88 min
Format DCP, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Berlin 2011, Sydney 2011, Locarno 2011 (Out of Competition), Melbourne 2011, Toronto 2011, New York 2011, London 2011, Ghent 2011, Philadelphia 2011, Hong Kong 2012, San Francisco 2012, Transilvania IFF Cluj 2012, Listapad Minsk 2012, Festival do Rio 2013

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