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Daniel Richter – Unplugged

Solid but not terribly deep portrait of the highly successful German artist


A classic artist doc is based on three pillars: footage at work, self-reflection and comments from friends and companions. The first pillar of DANIEL RICHTER is solid: we see the artist in his West Berlin backyard studio, there are huge canvases leaning on the wall,a Persian carpet on the floor. Contrary to Richter‘s smeared clothes, there‘s not a drop of color on them. Parrots fly in the air, there are records playing in the background, reggae, hip hip, electro. The scenes at the studio are immersive and energetic and bring us closer to Richter‘s art practice. The second pillar is pleasantly simple: for a documentary-worthy artist, Daniel Richter seems sympathetic and unpretentious, he likes to end his observations with dry self-irony. He doesn‘t even try to say something profound about painting or the world, that‘s why we don‘t discover anything particularly interesting, but also nothing embarrassing.

In a telling passage, an art historian describes the political content of Richter‘s painting “Tarifa“ from 2001 which shows refugees on a dinghy in the Mediterranean and shows the auction of it at Christie‘s at the end: 950,000€, an anonymous purchase over the phone. Richter also talks about the function of art as an investment and money laundering tool, but it doesn‘t seem to really interest him where the money comes from. The film, which was initiated by the artist, could also shed light on the dark sides of successful art; however, Richter‘s endeavor to not just be a cool millionaire, but also a leftist one, is not questioned by filmmaker Pepe Danquart. And the third pillar: is Jonathan Meese.

Yorick Berta

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Daniel Richter – Unplugged
Deutschland 2022, 117 min
Genre: Documentary, Porträt
Director: Pepe Danquart
Author: Pepe Danquart
Montage: Toni Froschhammer
Music: Ramon Kramer
Distributor: Weltkino
FSK: 12
Release: 02.02.2023



  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
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