ul. Jaskółcza 1, GDAŃSK - DOLNE MIASTO


16 October 2013, at 7 pm

1972, 134 min. 


Ludwig is the first part of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s ‘German Trilogy’ made in 1972 in a mere 11 days and a budget of 300,000 Marks.


Syberberg selects Bavarian King Ludwig Wittelsbach (1845–1886) as the first hero of his ‘German Trilogy’,

a King opposed to all progress, but a lover of culture, supporter of classical composer Richard Wagner, a ruler beloved by the ‘simple people’. Ludwig II was not interested in politics or armed conflict, which earned him the scorn of his court. He sold off his own kingdom to realize his fantastic visions of fairytale castles. This portrait of the ‘mad King’ is an unusual surreal cinematic essay where the director mixes characters, changes their genders and eras. The protagonists in Ludwig act out ‘scenes’ of daily life against the background of gigantic sets, and operatic scenery to the music of Wagner in ‘homage’ to the vanishing Wittelsbach era.


Syberberg doesn’t take care of a probability or a chronology we know from Visconti, Käutner and O. W. Fischer. A woman plays Wagner, Hitler dances Polka, beheaded Ludwig II rises from the dead and yodels. Syberberg hires many different devices to apprehend the essence of Bavarian King.


Documentary film. 1972

35 mm, colour, 134 min.

Director: Hans Jürgen Syberberg

Screenplay: Hans Jürgen Syberberg

Production: TMS Film GmbH, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

Producer: Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

Cinematography: Dietrich Lohmann

Editing: Peter Przygodda

Music: Richard Wagner,

Sound: Heinz Schürer, Harry Hamela

Cast: Harry Baer, Balthasar Thomass, Hanna Köhler, Ingrid Caven, Ursula Strätz, Peter Moland, Peter Kern, Rudolf Waldemar Brem


Municipal Institution of Culture