I’m Ernst Busch

(Ich bin Ernst Busch)

Germany, 2000, 60 min, color
Themes & Genres:


A portrait of the German communist singer and actor Ernst Busch (1900-80), who first rose to prominence in the Berlin cabaret scene of the 1920s as an interpreter of political songs, particularly those of Kurt Tucholsky. Busch starred in the original 1928 stage production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, as well as in the film subsequently made by G. W. Pabst. He also appeared in Kuhle Wampe, the 1932 German communist classic directed by Slatan Dudow with the collaboration of Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler.


When the Nazis came to power, Busch fled to the USSR and then joined the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. After WWII, he settled in East Germany. In this period, he is best remembered for his performance in the title role of Brecht's Life of Galileo at the Berliner Ensemble, as well as for his recordings of workers’ songs, including many by Hanns Eisler.


Peter Voigt, who met Busch while working at the Berliner Ensemble in the 1950s, paints a detailed picture of Busch’s life and work, as well as his problems with East German authorities, who only tolerated Busch’s rebellious character when it was directed against the country’s enemies… and gradually drove him into isolation.


(No subtitles. English translation available upon request.)



2013 Homage Peter Voigt, Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animation Film



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