Der Funktionär

A film by Andre­as Gold­stein. In Ger­man.

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The “Film about the Father” is a dif­fi­cult gen­re. Andre­as Gold­stein, son of the GDR cul­tu­ral func­tion­a­ry Klaus Gysi (1912–1999) has tack­led this task with a com­ple­te lack of vani­ty, but with insis­tence: mea­su­red and calm, honest and intel­lec­tu­al, ana­ly­ti­cal and per­so­nal. He unco­vers a mosaic that renoun­ces both the teleo­lo­gies of the self-sty­led win­ners of histo­ry and the sim­pli­fi­ca­ti­ons of (West) Ger­man Oscar nomi­nees. This film is not about the lives of others, but about his own life. Not about yes­ter­day, about today, too.

The focus is on the father and his lifel­ong ambi­ti­on to found a soci­al order in which “spi­rit and power are in com­ple­te agree­ment”. It’s on the pri­mal sce­ne of the Jewish intel­lec­tu­al (the sight of a dead worker), the care­er of an SED Par­ty com­mu­nist (head of a publi­shing house, cul­tu­ral minis­ter, ambassa­dor, sta­te secreta­ry for church mat­ters), insights into a dri­ven pri­va­te life. Part of this “com­mu­nist genea­lo­gy” him­s­elf, Gold­stein comments own pho­tos, found tele­vi­si­on mate­ri­al and images from Ber­lin (then, today) from offscreen, set­ting a high stan­dard for a re-eva­lua­ti­on of the sta­te that will always be his ori­gin: “We would reject ques­ti­ons about the legi­ti­ma­cy of our pre­sent exis­tence. How come we ask them about the past all the time?”

Bar­ba­ra Wurm

Credits:

DE 2018, 72 Min.,
Regie & Buch: Andre­as Gold­stein
Kame­ra: Jako­bi­ne Motz
Schnitt: Chris Wright

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