SPK Complex

a film by Gerd Kroske

SPK Complex

Germany | 2018 | 111:00 min

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In 1970, Dr. Wolfgang Huber and a group of patients founded the anti-psychiatric (Sozialistische PatientenKollektiv - SPK) 'Socialist Patient’s Collective' in Heidelberg. Controversial therapy methods, political demands, and a massive interest in the movement from patients deeply distrustful of conventional “custodial psychiatry,” led to run-ins with the University of Heidelberg and local authorities. The conflict quickly escalated and resulted in the radicalization of the SPK. Their experiment in group therapy ultimately ended in arrests, prison, and the revocation of Huber’s license to practice medicine.
From a historical perspective, the SPK court cases seem to anticipate the Stammheim trials, with the exclusion of defense attorneys, the total non-compliance of the defendants, and harsh penalties for both Huber and his wife. The severity of the sentences handed down appears hardly proportional to the actual deeds of the accused. The allegation of having supported the RAF, and thus of being complicit in their terrorism, still clings to the SPK and overlies what the movement was originally about: the rights of psychiatric patients, resistance, and self-empowerment—issues that are still relevant today.
SPK COMPLEX focuses on the untold story of events before the 'Deutscher Herbst' (German Autumn) and their consequences up to the present day. A story of insanity, public perception, and (un)avoidable violence. (Berlinale Catalogue)
68th Berlinale 48th FORUM
15th dokumentarfilmwoche hamburg 2018
33rd DOK.fest Munich
Cast and Crew
  • Director Gerd Kroske
  • Director of Photography  Susanne Schüle, Anne Misselwitz
  • Editor Olaf Voigtländer, Stephan Krumbiegel
  • Sound Johannes Schmelzer-Zieringer, Benedikt Gaussling, Malte Audick
  • Sound Design Volker Zeigermann (Zeigermann_Audio GmbH)
  • Score Klaus Janek
Original Languages



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