When “Brecht” launched on the Berlinale, with a premiere attended by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the president of Germany, it was the fruition of long-gestating undertaking for German director Heinrich Breloer. He had met the associates of the German playwright many years earlier, however solely now has used his trademark drama-meets-documentary strategy to filmmaking to make a biopic of Brecht. As patrons come on board the Bavaria Fiction-produced sequence and it finds worldwide houses, Breloer talks about making the miniseries.
Was “Brecht” a few years within the making?
Again in 1977 I met Paula Banholzer, Brecht’s past love, and a few of his mates from his early days. I made a documentary movie about Brecht’s early years entitled ‘Bi and Bidi in Augsburg.’ Since then, whereas making a variety of different movies I discovered myself occupied with this story time and again.
Was it simple to seek out the themes for the documentary segments of “Brecht”?
A whole lot of them are nonetheless alive, the individuals who had been younger a number of years after the Second World Battle and had been Brecht’s assistants on the Berliner Ensemble. They advised me tales about Brecht’s return from exile in America, and concerning the improvement of a brand new sort of theater within the japanese a part of Berlin. It additionally emerged that lots of the questions Brecht posed in his day have misplaced none of their modern relevance 63 years after his dying.
“The subheading for the movie was ‘a legacy comes alive’…the genius everybody worships comes down from the pedestal”
How did you seize the story of the Brecht the person?
Brecht intentionally hid his personal life, his persona. He needed to be perceived solely when it comes to his work. He liked the masks of the classics. My intention, the subheading for the movie, was ‘a legacy comes alive.’ The genius everybody worships comes down from the pedestal and faces us, past any type of ideology, and as a consistently productive particular person who was very demanding of the folks round him, particularly his mistresses.
What’s the look of the present, with its combination of varieties?
The look arises from the montage of varied supplies: the high-gloss staged scenes utilizing state-of-the-art methods, mixed with older parts from the 1970s analysis, and the newly-filmed conversations with Brecht’s former colleagues from the final years of his life. There’s additionally novice footage, which reveals Brecht in a approach we’ve by no means seen him earlier than. This in flip creates the look of a double publicity between drama and documentary.
On this approach the movie is consistently narrated on totally different ranges on the similar time. And all of this contains the seek for the Brecht that’s unknown to us.
What are you able to do with docu-drama that you could’t with drama or documentary alone?
In his epic theater Brecht developed a sort of language and performing approach that creates distance and makes what’s depicted unusual, with a purpose to break the phantasm of the theater and deal with the viewers instantly. That ensures that members of the viewers are prompted to assume and, from a distance, grow to be in a position to acknowledge themselves, their very own failings and potentialities – with a purpose to immediate a change of their lives and within the society exterior the theater.
And also you employed an analogous approach in “Brecht”?
After I make use of documentary materials to interrupt the phantasm of the high-gloss cinema parts, I’m establishing an analogous distance. When the fiction is damaged by way of actuality on this approach, it may possibly immediate the members of the viewers to assume. Generally the documentary confirms the drama and vice versa, whereas generally the documentary contradicts the re-enactments. The previous Paula reads the diary written by the younger Brecht, the place he claims he taught her to swim and he or she says: “The liar.”
After I intercut a dramatic re-enactment and an interview performed 60 years later with one of many actual folks depicted in that enactment, the 2 ranges may give a selected perspective. Within the perfect case magic moments can develop from the encounter between the current and the previous, fiction and actuality, creating an authenticity that might not be achieved with staged scenes or documentary parts alone.