VAF Kinepolis ING
World soundtrack awardsWSA
Film Fest Gent - Despair (Eine Reise ins Licht)
Archived: Despair (Eine Reise ins Licht) - Despair (1978)

director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

composer: Peer Raben
With: Dirk Bogarde (Hermann Hermann) Andrea Ferréol (Lydia) Volker Spengler (Ardalion) Klaus Löwitsch (Felix) Alexander Allerson (Mayer) Bernhard Wicki (Orlovius) Peter Kern (Müller), a.o.


Should Hermann (Dirk Bogarde) spend his life producing chocolate? An exiled Russian, he has an elegant apartment in Berlin, where he has been living for years. He drives a snazzy little car – a convertible. He is married to Lydia (Andrea Ferréol), a not-so-smart but devoted and absolutely desirable woman. The administration of his firm only keeps him busy a few hours a day. Business stagnates. Presumably a result of the global economic crisis that does not really upset Hermann. Recently, Hermann has the feeling that he could leave his body, step beside it and observe himself. One evening he leaves the living room door open so he, who sits in the living room, can observe how he and Lydia make love. This state of being becomes an addiction for him. He would love to perfect his ability to double himself, would like to bring it to an extreme and to refine it, like it was a creative gift. On a business trip, Hermann meets the tramp Felix (Klaus Löwitsch). He is convinced that Felix is identical to him in all his physical details and they agree to stay in touch by mail (general delivery). Although the existence of his double at first irritates Herman, it becomes a source of inspiration to him after he returns home. What would it be like if he could disappear in order to begin a new life as someone else? Herman plans the perfect and gratifying rebirth for which a tramp is to die – his journey towards light.


director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
composer: Peer Raben

production company: NF Geria II Film, in collaboration with SFP, Paris, produced by Bavaria Atelier

More info

country: Germany
year: 1978


RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER (1945-1982): This Night (short, 1965), Der Stadtstreicher (short, 1965), Das kleine Chaos (short, 1967), Liebe ist kälter als der Tod (1969), Götter der Pest (1969), Katzelmacher (1969), Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? (1969), Rio das Mortes (TV, 1970), Das Kaffeehaus (TV, 1970), Whity (1970), Die Niklashauser Fart (TV, 1970), Der amerikanische Soldat (1970), Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte (1970), Pioniere in Ingolstadt (TV, 1970), Händler der vier Jahreszeiten (1971), Die bitteren Tränen… Show more

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