Schlingensief considered German filmmaker and writer Alexander Kluge (b. 1932) to be one of his mentors. Kluge’s unwavering questioning of Germany’s past and its ramifications in the present resonated with Schlingensief’s own enterprise.
Brutalität im Stein (Brutality in Stone). 1960. Germany. Directed by Alexander Kluge, Peter Schamoni. In German; English subtitles. 12 min.
Cinematography by Wolf Wirth. Voiceover by Christian Marschall, Hans Clarin. For his first film, a short documentary made with almost no budget, Kluge collaborated with filmmakers Peter Schamoni and Wolf Wirth. Combining archival material with new footage of ruins of Nazi buildings in Nuremberg, its subject was politically provocative and its making technically manageable.
Frau Blackburn, geb. 5 Jan. 1872, wird gefilmt (Frau Blackburn, Born 5 Jan. 1872, Is Filmed). 1967. Germany. Directed by Alexander Kluge. In German; English subtitles. 13 min.
With Martha Blackburn. Voiceover by Alexander Kluge, Hannelore Hoger. A personal and tender filmic portrait of Kluge’s grandmother Martha Blackburn going about her daily business in her home.
100 Jahre Adolf Hitler: Die letzte Stunde im Führerbunker (100 Years Adolf Hitler: The Last Hour in the Führerbunker). 1989. Germany. Directed by Christoph Schlingensief. In German; English subtitles. 55 min.
With Volker Spengler, Brigitte Kausch, Margit Carstensen, Dietrich Kuhlbrodt, Alfred Edel, Udo Kier. In this first part of Schlingensief’s Germany Trilogy, focusing on the last hour in Hitler’s Führerbunker, the key players of the Nazi regime, faced with their imminent demise, engage in scenes of grotesque and ridiculous despair. Shot in 16 hours in the complete darkness of a World War II bunker, the film portrays the banality of evil as the inevitable result of mankind’s insatiable and mindless lust for power.