Key Information

Format
Documentary
Year of production
2017
Duration
01:41:00
Country of origin
Germany
Produced by
Blueprint Film GmbH
Categories
Television > Documentary > Market Premiere
Television > Documentary > History
Intended distribution
Made for TV

Language versions

Original
German

Topics

Non-Fiction/Information

Synopsis

West Germany in the 1970s. As the alleged spiritual allies of terrorists, artists, leftwing liberal intellectuals, professors, journalists and members of the clergy found themselves caught in the crosshairs of the police, press and political class. They were branded as “sympathizers.” The prominent figures among them became the ultimate bêtes noires. For newspapers like Bild and Welt, these individuals were “terrorism’s army of reservists,” “spiritual accomplices” and the purported “eulogists of terror” – co-responsible for the bombs, murders and violence. Was there any truth to these allegations? The Nobel-prizewinning author Heinrich Böll spoke of informer culture, mob law and a climate of persecution. The parents of the director of this film, too, were among
the sympathizers: His mother, Margarethe von Trotta, and his stepfather, Volker Schlöndorff, made films such as The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Marianne and Juliane, Germany in Autumn and The Legend of Rita. In their work, they grappled with the topic of terrorism and what motivated the radicalization and violence of the “protest generation.” Today, many of their movies are considered – domestically as well as internationally – classics of German political film. Sympathizers is at once the story of one German family, the history of a period in German film and the portrait of a society. An extremely personal story, it unfolds against the larger contemporary backdrop of a polarized Country in turmoil, woven together from extensive film clips, partly unpublished archival material as well as Margarethe von Trotta’s private diaries (read by her).
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Additional Information


Cast & Crew

Director
Felix Moeller
Key talent(s)
Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Peter Schneider, Marius Müller-Westernhagen, René Böll, Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Producer(s)
Felix Moeller, Amelie Latscha
Writer(s)
Felix Moeller