Erich Engel: A Hegel Among Comedians

(Erich Engel – Ein Hegel unter den Komödianten)

Germany, 1994, 90 min, color/b&w
In German; no subtitles


He’s not just “a Hegel among comedians,” in the words of Professor Dr. Ernst Schumacher, but also “a director of the scientific age,” as Bertold Brecht once said. Erich Engel, working across time and art forms, was already well known in the 1930s as a theater and film director.


The friendly solidarity between Bertolt Brecht, Karl Valentin and Erich Engel brought an astonished audience the grotesque film, “Mysteries of a Barbershop.” After the war, Engel followed Brecht’s success on the Berlin Ensemble, while simultaneously producing the DEFA films The Blum Affair (1948) and The Beaver Pelts (1949).


Important directors like Manfred Wekwerth, Engel’s son Thomas, and the actress Gisela Trowe create the image of an unusual man who demanded a great deal of himself and others. 


NOTE: This film is currently only available as part of our non-circulating research collection.


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