The Kleist File

The death at Wannsee Lake – a spectacular case that has, to date, continued to disturb and fascinate the ensuing ages. The German poet Kleist was found shot – what is that supposed to mean? What exactly happened at Wannsee Lake that afternoon on November 21st, 1811? Who shot Kleist? What is known about the woman that died with him?

News

  • 09/2013 - Two Nominations as "Most Innovative" at Sichuan TV Festival in China

    We proudly announce that your TV-series “Culture Files” and our production “Sunday Warriors” have been nominated for the Golden Panda [...]

    We proudly announce that your TV-series "Culture Files" and our production "Sunday Warriors" have been nominated for the Golden Panda in the category "Most Innovative" at Sichuan TV Festival in China. "Culture Files" captivates the audience by exploring the unsolved mysteries revolving Europe‘s greatest artists and thinkers such as Richard Wagner, Paolo Pasolini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Zarah Leander and Heinrich von Kleist. "Sunday Warriors" portrays five live role players (LARP), balancing with his protagonists between pathos and banality, myth and all day life. The festival takes place from 16 to 18 November, 2013 and is one of the most reputable TV festivals in Asia.

    Culture Files
    Sunday Warriors


  • 11/2011 - "The Kleist File" in Germany, Switzerland and Austria

    On the night before the 200. anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist, November 20th ath 08.15pm, our film [...]

    On the night before the 200. anniversary of the death of Heinrich von Kleist, November 20th ath 08.15pm, our film "The Kleist File" is aired in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Germany, the film will be shown on the RBB channel.

    The Kleist File - RBB


  • 12/2011 - “The Kleist File” at Fipa

    We are very happy that “The Kleist File” is selected at the Fipatel market at the 25th Fipa which will [...]

    We are very happy that “The Kleist File” is selected at the Fipatel market at the 25th Fipa which will be held from January 23rd to 29th 2012.

    FIPA


Projekte


  • Pasolini_Artikelbild

    The Pasolini Files

  • Die Akte Zarah Leander_artikelbild

    The Zarah Leander Files

  • Kulturakte_Artikelbild

    Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

  • Die Akte Beethoven_artikelbild_neu

    The Beethoven Files

  • kulturakte_serie_artikelbild

    The Culture Files (TV-Series, 5 parts)

  • Die Akte Wagner_artikelbild_neu

    The Wagner Files (TV)


The Kleist File

The death at Wannsee Lake – a spectacular case that has, to date, continued to disturb and fascinate the ensuing ages. The German poet Kleist was found shot – what is that supposed to mean? What exactly happened at Wannsee Lake that afternoon on November 21st, 1811? Who shot Kleist? What is known about the woman that died with him? Could it be that the bullets were meant for her? Or that he shot her? Or she, him? If yes, why? And why were the couple so cheerful and playful mere moments before their death?

Kleist was born into a Prussian family from Frankfurt/Oder with a long linage of military distinction. As the son of a Prussian officer, he enjoys the privileges of noble origin; born wealthy, he has talent and an education, is a patriot and simultaneously cosmopolitan. Kleist is not only known in the salons of his time, the poet is also close to the Royal Court: Queen Louise of Prussia is moved to tears by the poem that she personally receives from him for her birthday. Kleist does not only write poetry, he is one of the most productive German writers. At the time of his death he had already written, in a span of but a few years, numerous well-known dramas: “The Broken Jug”, “Cathy of Heilbronn or the Ordeal by Fire”, “Penthesilea” and “The Prince of Homburg” belong to the standard repertoire of German-language theatre today. Kleist’s work is well known, but less well known and even far less understood are the exact circumstances of his death. But perhaps it is exactly there that a new key to understanding his work lies.

According to the police report, seconds before the shots fell the couple had ordered coffee to be brought to them on the shore. In the police report, we can also find out when the couple arrived at their inn, what they ate during their last hours, when the woman had herself dressed – we even find out how much the saw cost that broke during the autopsy. But all these details fail to answer the important question: Why did Kleist have to die?

Ulrike Landfester – literary scholar
Claus Peymann – theater director
Christopher Clark – historian
Alexander Weigel – Kleist biographer
Heinrich von Kleist: Alexander Beyer
Henriette: Meret Becker
Narrato:  Nina Hoss
Book, Directors, Editors: Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte, Torsten Striegnitz
Cinematography: Axel Schneppat
2nd Camera: Marc Hennicke
Camera assistant: Ralf Hahmann
Sound, camera assistant: Michael Fiedler
Sound assistant: Felix Landbeck, Daniel Piechotka
First gaffer: Frank Semerau
Gaffer: Werner Bielicke, Werner Debert
Best Boy: Falk Hellwig, Jörn Radig
Set designer:  Ingrid Jebram
Grip: Marc Hennicke
Property master: Marko Kaiser
Costume designer: Elke von Sivers
Set dresser: Katarina Schremmer
Make up artist: Katja Hamburger
Catering: BlackFatCat, Mirko Andreas
Driver: Randolf Wangemann, Paul Krauskopf
Technical supervisor: Philipp Weigold
Assistant editor: Agnetha Lang
Colour grading: Vera Jeske
Animation: Konrad Weise, Daniel Zinner
3-D-Grafic: Martin Ehleben
Compositing, title: Ilka Berghoff
Sound design: Jürgen Funk
Music: Andreas Bick, Andreas Koslik
Sound mixer: Matthias Ludwig
Dubbing voice: Oliver Brod
Editorial assistance: Susanne Klopfstock
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Production manager: Kathrin Isberner, Rainer Baumert (rbb)
Production assistant: Nick Pastucha
Production supervisor: Daniela Schöne
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
Idea/Dramaturgy: Christian Beetz
Commissioning editors: Dagmar Mielke, Jens Stubenrauch

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

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Förderer

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  • The Kleist File

    Heinrich-Heine-Haus - Paris, France
    16 March 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Book Fair Leipzig - Leipzig, Germany
    20 March 2011 at 5:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Nikolaikirche/Stadtmuseum - Berlin
    22 March 2011 at 8:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Kleistforum - Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
    24 March 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    arte
    28 March 2011 at 9:55 pm

  • The Kleist File

    arte
    13 April 2011 at 5:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    arte
    17 April 2011 at 5:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    Literaturzentrum Vorpommern - Greifswald, Germany
    04 May 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Goethe Institute - Bratislava, Slovakia
    18 May 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Ephraim-Palais - Stadtmuseum Berlin, Germany
    03 August 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Ephraim-Palais - Stadtmuseum Berlin, Germany
    10 August 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Ephraim-Palais - Stadtmuseum Berlin, Germany
    17 August 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Ephraim-Palais - Stadtmuseum Berlin, Germany
    24 August 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Die Märkischen Höfe - Netzeband, Germany
    25 August 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Ephraim-Palais - Stadtmuseum Berlin, Germany
    31 August 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Goethe Institute - Tokyo, Japan
    15 September 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Goethe Institute, Filmfestival Sehenswert - Budapest, Hungary
    25 September 2011 at 6:30 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Heinrich-von-Kleist-Forum - Hamm, Germany
    08 November 2011 at 7:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Kirche Gulben - Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
    13 November 2011 at 5:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Maxim Gorki Theater, Kleistfestival - Berlin, Germany
    17 November 2011 at 3:15 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Filmmuseum - Potsdam, Germany
    18 November 2011 at 8:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    ORF2
    20 November 2011 at 9:40 am

  • The Kleist File

    RBB
    20 November 2011 at 8:15 pm

  • The Kleist File

    SF
    21 November 2011 at 12:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    Halle 6 - Thun, Switzerland
    21 November 2011 at 8:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Literatur.Lana - Lana, Italy
    21 November 2011 at 9:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Goethe Institute - Bratislava, Slovakia
    22 November 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    Goethe Institute - Oslo, Norway
    28 November 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    University of Alberta, Kleist Symposium - Alberta, Canada
    03 December 2011 at 12:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    arte
    26 May 2014 at 3:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    ORF2
    23 November 2014 at 9:40 am

  • The Kleist File

    ORF3
    23 November 2014 at 12:10 pm

  • The Kleist File

    ORF2
    24 November 2014 at 2:55 am

  • The Kleist File

    WDR
    21 February 2015 at 12:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    WDR
    21 February 2015 at 12:00 am

  • The Kleist File

    SWR
    15 March 2015 at 9:45 am

  • epd medien, 08 April 2011 (Eva-Maria Lenz)

    It is exciting, that Kleist as one of the most performed German dramatists could never see one of his own plays on stage. It is tragic, that his only great success during his life - the popular first tabloid "Berliner Abendblätter" - was censored by the Prussian government. The film's smart selection and its competent composition unveil the political and biographical fate of Kleist: A successful televised start to the Kleist anniversary.

  • Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28 March 2011

    It's rare and eye-catching, that a project is so dedicated to beauty. "The Kleist File" is able to do so, because of the reenacted scenes with the excellent actors Becker and Beyer. It's a a final beauty in the end.

  • Funkkorrespondenz, 25 March 2011 (Thomas Irmer)

    „The Kleist File“ is an excellent literature-docu-art film, an elucidation of Kleist. And - with this great standard not only of the reenacted scenes – this production is a very welcome jailbreak from the well-behaved genre of semi-fictional documentaries.

  • FAZ, 26 March 2011 (Jochen Hieber)

    The directors and authors Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte and Torsten Striegnitz try to reenact what might have happenend in the last hours of the suicides. And thanks to the excellent work of the actors Alexander Beyer and Meret Becker this fictional approach is very convincing.

  • dpa, 26 March 2011 (Leticia Witte)

    The directors-trio Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte and Torsten Striegnitz has created a worht-seeing thriller and psychological study out of reenacted scenes, historical archive and current pictures of Kleist's birth place Frankfurt (Oder).

  • Märkische Oderzeitung, 25 March 2011 (Uwe Stiehler)

    Kleist's death and the police files about it are the window, out of which the film looks back onto the life of this poet, his inner conflicts, his feeling of being hounded, his problem with women and the break with his family. The film connects all these elements to an enthralling story.