Schlingensief – A Voice That Shook the Silence (2020)

Schlingensief – A Voice That Shook the Silence Poster
Original Title: Schlingensief – In das Schweigen hineinschreien

Using unpublished and newly digitalised archive footage and film material, Bettina Böhler has brilliantly assembled this film about the life and work of the exceptional artist Christoph Schlingensief, who died in 2010.

"Schlingensief-- A Voice That Shook the Silence" is a 2020 documentary film that reflects on the life and works of the prominent German filmmaker, theater director, and artist, Christoph Schlingensief. The documentary was directed by Bettina Böhler, a veteran partner and editor of the majority of his films. The movie mostly focuses on the professional journey of Schlingensief, providing an intimate perspective into his personality, artistic talent, and unwavering dedication to social issues.

Content and Structure
The documentary starts by plunging viewers into Schlingensief's world overflowing with art and chaos. Using a huge selection of archival video from Schlingensief's influential works, interviews, behind-the-scenes clips, and individual anecdotes, Bettina Böhler encapsulates Schlingensief's dynamic personality and massive creative output. The narrative structure is not chronological however rather thematic, arranged according to Schlingensief's essential life and work stages.

The documentary explores Schlingensief's artistic endeavors throughout movie, theater, television, and opera in addition to showcasing his philosophies and visions outside the spheres of conventional creative mediums. It also highlights his rejection to abide by conventional creative limitations, a highly particular function of Schlingensief's work.

Reflection on Schlingensief's Artistic Journey
One striking element highlighted by the documentary is Schlingensief's early acknowledgment as a provocative and rebellious artist with his chaotic and unpleasant movie works. The film gives weight to both Schlingensief's earlier, anarchic films like "100 Years of Adolf Hitler" and "Terror 2000", and his more popular work, including his groundbreaking Parsifal production at Bayreuth Festival.

His extremely controversial, stunning, and frequently confrontational technique to art and culture is gone over, emphasizing his eager determination to push borders. His hard-hitting political satire, like the reality TV-show style "Please Love Austria", drew both recognition and criticism, showcasing Schlingensief as a brave activist who used his art to challenge societal norms and political structures.

Personal Life and Subsequent Impact
The documentary likewise sheds light on his fight with lung cancer, which deeply impacted his point of view on life and death. The last chapter of his life was marked by works such as "A Church of Fear vs. the Alien Within", a conflict with his death and his enthusiastic job of constructing an opera village in Burkina Faso, Africa. These aspects highlight Schlingensief's continuous pursuit of brand-new kinds of expression up until his early death in 2010.

Concluding Thoughts
"Schlingensief-- A Voice That Shook the Silence" is an emotive, insightful, and crucial exploration of Christoph Schlingensief's work and life. Through archival footages and interviews, it provides an immersive view into his distinct creative approach and prevailing influence on the art world. It's a comprehensive homage to an artist who was an agitator, a visionary, and an ever-searching soul in the world of art and beyond. The documentary underscores the tradition of Schlingensief, highlighting him as an extraordinary artist with an unyielding courage to provoke, challenge, and shake silences in society.

Top Cast

  • Christoph Schlingensief (small)
    Christoph Schlingensief
    Self (archive footage)
  • Tilda Swinton (small)
    Tilda Swinton
    Self (archive footage)
  • Udo Kier (small)
    Udo Kier
    Self (archive footage)
  • Corinna Harfouch (small)
    Corinna Harfouch
    Self (archive footage)
  • Hildegard Knef (small)
    Hildegard Knef
    Self (archive footage)
  • Martin Wuttke (small)
    Martin Wuttke
    Self (archive footage)
  • Helga Stöwhase
    Self (archive footage)
  • Volker Sprengler
    Self (archive footage)
  • Helge Schneider (small)
    Helge Schneider
    Self (archive footage)
  • Bernhard Schütz (small)
    Bernhard Schütz
    Self (archive footage)
  • Sophie Rois (small)
    Sophie Rois
    Self (archive footage)