Time of the Gods
(Zeit der Götter. Der Bildhauer Arno Breker)
Zeit der Götter. Der Bildhauer Arno Breker © Lutz Dammbeck
While working on his Hercules Concept, director Lutz Dammbeck became fascinated by the life and work of the German sculptor Arno Breker (1900-91). How could a highly talented sculptor—who had met French avant-garde artists in Paris in the 1920s and whose work was first considered “degenerate art” by the Nazis—become Adolf Hitler’s preferred sculptor and protégé?
In trying to find an answer, Dammbeck meets with several of Breker’s contemporaries and friends, including authors Roger Peyrefitte and Ernst Jünger, West German art collector Peter Ludwig and Breker’s model, the former decathlete Gustav Stührk, who posed for a Nazi-commissioned sculpture in 1936.
The film explores what transformations in power and politics do to art, how much opportunism can be found in “pure” art and whether fascist symbols can ever regain their aesthetic innocence. The questions it addresses about the relationship between ethics and aesthetics make a valuable contribution to any discussion about art and power.
|Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animation Film, Germany
|Recent Films from Germany, MoMA, New York, USA
|Berlin International Film Festival, Germany
|Finestra sulle immagini, Venice International Film Festival, Italy
Award of the Media Union, Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and
Animation Film, Germany
“A critical film collage! [Dammbeck] also finds evidence for a strangely enduring interest, if not exactly a reviving fascination with Breker.” —Der Spiegel