A biography set in East and West Berlin about the life of a defiant woman who unites the political and the private in the poetry of her song lyrics. Bettina Wegner is often reduced to just one of her many songs, “Sind so kleine Hände” (“Children”) and her collaboration with Joan Baez. But here in Lutz Pehnert’s portrait she is given the space she deserves. Taken to court at the age of 21 for protesting against the violent end of the Prague Spring, she soon became part of the lively music and literature scene around Thomas Brasch and her husband Klaus Schlesinger, all the while pursuing her critical stance as an individual and as an artist. In her husky voice, she describes – even humorously – her inner turmoil and her determination not to give up her home in the GDR, even when she was no longer wanted there. Written in 1980, her song “Über Gebote” (“About Rules”) serves Pehnert as a narrative thread while he uses archive material from East and West Germany, audio recordings from her trial as well as Wegner’s own words and music to guide us through her life. In this way, the film gives a new audience the chance to discover singer-songwriter Bettina Wegner – who really only ever wanted to sing love songs.
DE 2022, 107 Min., deutsche Fassung mit englischen Untertiteln
Regie, Buch: Lutz Pehnert
Kamera: Anne Misselwitz
Montage: Thomas Kleinwächter