2007 Germany - Documentary for Theaters, Festivals, and Television

Director: Enrique Sanchez Lansch
Audio: Pascal Capitolin
Format: STEREO
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Production: Eikon Film-RBB-Cine Impuls


"... one of the most exciting documentary films in recent times." taz, October 31, 2007

"In its highly ambivalent way, the film is a masterpiece." Berliner Morgenpost, November 1, 2007

This year the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the most famous orchestras world-wide, celebrates its 125th birthday. A reason to look at an as yet lesser-known chapter of its history: the years between 1933 and 1945. Funded by the German Reich, the Berlin Philharmonic were the German model orchestra and therefore representatives of the national socialist regime.

In Enrique Sánchez Lansch’s (RHYTHM IS IT!) new documentary the orchestra itself, the musicians, the people, the individual fates take centre stage. The musicians were a lot less exposed than their chief conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, but moved very close to the ones in power in these times. They lived and worked as a collective. That protected them, but also made it easier for each to evade individual responsibility, even after 1945.

The unusual microcosm of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra – like under a bell jar - proves to be an exemplary study here.

Through contemporary witnesses from the midst, and from the sphere of the orchestra - as well as through the extensive and only recently analysed footage - it is possible to gain an insight into that microcosm. And to look into the question: Where does one draw the thin line between independence and involvement, between innocence and guilt? An exciting and explosive chapter of Berlin and German history is brought back to life.

Sponsored by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg supported by rbb and EKD.