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Legend of Potsdamer Platz, The (Legende vom Potsdamer Platz, Die)

Legend of Potsdamer Platz, The

During the twenties, the journalist Hardy Worm wrote: "At Potsdamer Platz, one has the feeling a huge firework display is taking place; it is as if howling rockets were shooting into the air, exploding on the roofs of the houses and showering the city with a flood of noise". It was at that time that the myth of Potsdamer Platz was born.

The Potsdamer Platz of the nineties: a symbol for the reconstruction of the new German capital. In the intervening years, there was the period of absolute destruction during the Second World War, the square as a barren space with its death strip, and the rabbits' paradise of no-man's-land directly beside the Wall. The Legend of Potsdamer Platz allows unknown chroniclers to tell the story of the square. We meet a radio reporter who is collecting voices from Potsdamer Platz for his radio play collage and a maker of animated films. There is also a story-teller, guiding hordes of tourists across the square, a performance artist who marks the course of the former Wall with crepe paper and balloons, and finally witnesses from Potsdamer Platz' earlier, more glamorous era. A myth is reawakened to new life.


Manfred Wilhelms was originally a painter and photographer before undergoing a complete metamorphosis into a self-taught filmmaker and cinematographer. As a part-time student, he took part in seminars given by Helmut Faerber on the films of Griffith, Ozu and Renoir. He has made numerous short TV features and the documentaries: Licht singt tausendfache Lieder (1985), Die Loreley (1988), Menschenrechte (TV, 1989), Rostige Bilder (1990-1992), Route des Crêtes (1993), Die Rennstrecke (1994), Laufen um zu leben (1995). His omnibus film Berlin - You Stranger, You Beauty (1995-2001)includes the following films: Berlin - Pictures of a City ,A Tale of Two Cities, The Legend of Potsdamer Platz, Nightwalk, Street of Culture, Pictures of a Veiling, and Where is the Flair.
Genre History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2000
Director Manfred Wilhelms
Screenplay Manfred Wilhelms
Cinematography Manfred Wilhelms
Manfred Wilhelms
Cast Rolf Hoppe, Arno Luening, Fred Walther
Producer Manfred Wilhelms
Production Company Lassoband-Filmproduktion/Berlin
Length 360 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Sound Technology Stereo
With backing from BKM

World Sales
Lassoband-Filmproduktion
Manfred Wilhelms
Fuerbringerstrasse 11
10961 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-74 30 58 87
fax +49-30-74 30 58 89