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Selbstkritik eines bürgerlichen Hundes

While searching for love and solidarity, director Julian Radlmeier’s alter ego stumbles along the exploiter’s apple plantation. A “burlesque essay film” about Marxism, Franz von Assissi, and Berlin’s intellectual milieu.

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The viewer probably won’t know what SELBSTKRITIK EINES BÜRGERLICHEN HUNDES is about at first: visually the composed still frames and surreal figures are reminiscent of the films of Straub-Huillet, but narratively the film is about a simulated autobiographical journey of self-realization guided by a voice over from the director himself. The theoretical dialog, amateur actors, and above all the witty jumps from one idea to the next seem playfully student-like. Radlmeier calls it a “burlesque essay film” and that’s quite apt. The film revolvs around the conditions of an improvised film project about contemporary communism but things quickly tangle up and you can’t tell whether you are still watching the film by the “real” director, his narrator, or his alter-ego, which is also played by Julian Radlmeier. He stumbles along the exploiter’s apple plantation while searching for solidarity and love, Franz von Assissi plays a major role, and we also experience absurd scenes with the Berlin intellectual milieu. As fitting as the images of the film are and as funny as the self-critique is, the film’s ideas and naïve structure appear quite clueless and aimless. However, the ironic final trick is refined: two actors are in jail after screening their film at the Berlinale and so the real suffering encircles the film and does, in fact, change the on-screen director’s life into a dog’s life.

Hendrick Jackson

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Deutschland 2016, 99 min
Genre: Comedy
Director: Julian Radlmaier
Author: Julian Radlmaier
DOP: Markus Koob
Distributor: Grandfilm Verleih
Cast: Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, Ilia Korkashvili, Deragh Campbell, Benjamin Forti, Julian Radlmaier
FSK: oA
Release: 08.06.2017

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vimeo.com/ondemand/sebh

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