One of the highlights of the upcoming 13th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival (July 18-28, Wroclaw) will be a survey of the works of the controversial and outspoken German director Hans Jürgen Syberberg. The program will include the well-known and controversial 442-minute film Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977), as well as a selection of opera films and musicals. The retrospective will take place in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut in Poland as part of a larger project about Syderberg and Wagner.
Syberberg’s works, which have been rejected by critics in his home country, have found support on the international stage from individuals such as Susan Sontag, Michel Foucault and Francis Ford Coppola. With his tendency to constantly cross boundaries, Syderberg has taken risks in creating a synthesis of various genres of art, and his works, fighting Germany’s national demons and questioning national myths, have confronted audiences with content that violates the conventions of early Christian Europe.
In Wroclaw, we will screen five of the director’s most important, monumental works (with a running time of over 21 hours altogether). In addition to the above-mentioned dreamlike collage of a film with an operative score, Hitler: A Film from Germany, the program will also include Syderberg’s unusual adaptation of Wagner’s opera Parsifal and Ludwig, which was also inspired by the works of Wagner, as well as by the eccentric life of the Swan King, Ludwig II of Bavaria.