Joschka and Sir Fischer

a film by Pepe Danquart

Joschka and Sir Fischer

Germany, Switzerland | 2011 | 140:00 min

Content Categories

Documentary
Synopsis
"I doubt if my mother voted for me back then." Former German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer comes from a conservative, Christian Democratic background. In Joschka and Sir Fischer, the liberal politician tells of his life, which has been filled with extremes and contradictions: from his youth shortly after the war through his rebellious years as a politically active student, to his career as the government minister of a peaceful party that ultimately opted for intervening in Bosnia. He recounts his personal story literally against the backdrop of 60 years of turbulent German history: in the film, he is standing in an old factory between film screens on which historical footage is projected. In the editing, these help to explain his story, accompanied of course by music that fits the era in question. The film also makes 10 excursions to the stories of people who talk about their lives in a given period. From the mendacious 1950s, the revolutionary 1960s, terrorist groups in the 1970s and the peaceful anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s, through to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the election of the red-green government coalition under Gerhard Schröder. Directed by Pepe Danquart, who won an Oscar for his fiction short Schwarzfahrer in 1994. (IDFA catalogue)

He was a student activist, an urban guerrilla, a taxi driver; Joseph “Joschka” Fischer emerged from the Extra-parliamentary Opposition (APO) to become Hessen’s trainer-clad environment minister and Germany’s suited and booted foreign minister. Director Pepe Danquart follows Joschka’s colourful life through six decades of postwar Germany from the phoney fifties, to the wild APO days, through the “leaden times” of RAF-terror and on to the advent of the anti-nuclear movement and the birth of the Green Party, then all the way up to fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s first red-green coalition. Danquart’s film is a time machine hurtling through the decades with Joschka at the helm gazing out - often in astonishment - at the epochs that shaped him, as he did them.
JOSCHKA AND SIR FISCHER reaches far beyond biographic narrative. Oscar-winning director Pepe Danquart («Black Rider», «Hell on Wheels», «To the Limit») presents an entertaining and insightful exploration of postwar Germany including previously unseen footage. He depicts the country’s long search for democracy and her struggle to shake off the horrors of the past. Joschka Fischer’s thoughtful and often self-depreciating responses when confronted with provocative scenes from Germany’s history as well as his own, invites us to see him in a new light. Joschka made history – there’s no doubt about it. But it was Germany’s own unique history, which paved the way for a career such as his. By inviting Joschka’s contemporaries in front of the camera - e.g. actress Katharina Thalbach, European MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, as well as Fehlfarben band members – Danquart rounds off his documentary with a controversial and entertaining kaleidoscopic retrospective of “those breathless days” gone by…
Cast and Crew
  • Director Pepe Danquart
  • Producer Werner Schweizer, Mirjam Quinte (Quinte Film)
  • Screenwriter Pepe Danquart
  • Director of Photography Christopher Häring, Kolja Brandt
  • Editor Toni Froschhammer
  • Sound Jacob Ilgner
  • Score Thom Hanreich, Sebastian Padotzke
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