SynopsisOn 3 November 2001 the poet Thomas Brasch died at 56 years of age. Like virtually no other writer of his time, he balanced on a slender tightrope between the GDR and the FRG, between history and the present, between being Jewish, being German and being in the world. By relating the contradictory story of Brasch’s life and work, aided by video material shot by Brasch himself, this film creates a radical
image of a seeker who was likewise in search of himself. Everything and everyone was disturbed and unsettled by Brasch. No one was safe, nothing secure. His fundamental attitude: revolt. He began by rebelling against the generation of the founding fathers of the GDR. Then, in the other part of
Germany, he rejected authority in all its forms. Artist or criminal – this was his motto. Christoph Rueter, a documentary filmmaker, was a friend of Thomas Brasch through to his death. He frequently had his camera along when they were together, including a period in 1999 with Brasch
recovering from an illness and surgery.
Other material includes 28 video cassettes from Brasch’s estate, many of them his own work, with clips of himself, his surroundings, whatever may have occupied him at a given time. Much of this material, in addition to footage shot by Rüter, shows Brasch in the most varied moments of his life - warts and all, at the poet’s own insistence. Brasch’s life and death were extraordinary. He was one, as Christa Wolf once said, who had to walk the knife’s edge to move forward. Thomas Brasch’s constant wish was that he and his work would ‘be made use of’. Now, at last this wish is being realized.