Time of the Gods

(Zeit der Götter. Der Bildhauer Arno Breker)

Germany, 1992, 92 min, color
In German; English subtitles
Music (Score)
Themes & Genres:


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.



2018 Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animation Film, Germany
1993-94 Recent Films from Germany, MoMA, New York, USA
1993 Berlin International Film Festival, Germany
1993 Finestra sulle immagini, Venice International Film Festival, Italy
1993 Award of the Media Union, Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and 

Animation Film, Germany



Press comments

“A critical film collage! [Dammbeck] also finds evidence for a strangely enduring interest, if not exactly a reviving fascination with Breker.”  —Der Spiegel



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