In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod

(In Danger and Dire Distress the Middle of the Road Leads to Death)

A Journey in the Festival’s History

Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)  ·  1974  ·  HD  ·  Black and White  ·  86'  ·  o.v. German

Chosen by Juliana Rojas.

Starting from first-hand observation of society in West Germany in the mid-seventies, Alexander Kluge and Edgar Reitz roamed Frankfurt for ten days with a small crew, interweaving documentary images with bizarre fictional situations and spy story parodies involving female characters. The result, presented at Locarno28 and awarded two Deutscher Filmpreis at home, still challenges the audience by using different combinations of form and content, and conveys a disturbing picture of life in the Federal Republic of Germany, through the eyes of two masters of new German cinema.

Selected by Juliana Rojas
Director of Cidade;Campo

The first time I saw a film by Alexander Kluge was during a retrospective of his work at the Brazilian Cinematheque, in São Paulo - an essential place for my training as a cinephile and a filmmaker, and that today is threatened by a lack of government investment. It was 2003 and I was still in film school. On the same exhibition I saw In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod (1974), directed by Alexander Kluge & Edgar Reitz. I felt a chill immediately from the first seconds of the projection — the movie title written on a wall of an abandoned building. The film impressed me with its vivid mix of documentary, fiction, and archive footage, articulated by fragmented and dialectical editing. It showed me how cinema could gain a political dimension and the power created when the performers confront reality and the public sphere. I still have the program from that screening with me, and to this day, when I reopen it, not only the memories from the movie emerge, but also I relive the wonderful feeling of discovering something new and pulsating inside a film theater. For me, it is an example of the power of cinema to create emotional memories and make us travel through time. Especially in these difficult times, in order to deal with the present and construct a better future, we must make this journey back to the past and learn from history - and we might be surprised at how contemporary some films are.

– Juliana Rojas




Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz


Dagmar Bödderich, Jutta Winkelmann, Alfred Edel, Norbert Kentrup, Willi Muench


Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz


Guenter Hoermann, Alfred Hürmer, Edgar Reitz


Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus


Dietmar Lange, Burkhard Tauschwitz


Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz



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