Christian Petzold (director)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Christian Petzold at the Berlinale 2018

Christian Petzold (born September 14, 1960 in Hilden ) is a German film director and screenwriter . He is assigned to the Berlin School and has received numerous prizes and awards.


Growing up in Haan , after graduating from high school in 1979, he did his community service ("No escape to Berlin!") In the small film club of the local YMCA ("Double programs, consisting of an appetizer and a film artwork, everything for young people who are difficult to educate."). He has lived in Berlin since 1981, where he began studying theater and German at the Free University . From 1988 to 1994 he then studied at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb).

Christian Petzold writes the scripts for his films himself, and in many cases he worked on and developed the ideas together with Harun Farocki . As a teacher at the dffb at the time, Farocki was an important influence on the student Petzold. While Farocki is more likely to be associated with realism and political cinema, Petzold's films have been characterized by a preoccupation with the area between life and death, at least since The Inner Security . In Ghosts , the main character leads the life of a phantom, and the main character in Yella may have died at the beginning of the film. Inner security , ghosts and Yella form the "ghost trilogy", which Petzold had not originally planned.

After Toter Mann, Wolfsburg and Yella , the fourth collaboration with Nina Hoss in the title role followed in 2008 with the feature film Jerichow . The drama is about a soldier returning from Afghanistan to the north-east German lowlands, who gets involved in an affair with a married woman. The film received an invitation to participate in the competition at the 65th Venice Film Festival in 2008. In 2009, Christian Petzold was nominated for the German Film Prize for Jerichow as best director .

Although Christian Petzold had only worked as a film director until then, he accepted an invitation from the interim director Oliver Reese to the Deutsche Theater Berlin to stage Arthur Schnitzler's Der einsame Weg ( again with Nina Hoss in the title role). The premiere took place on March 14, 2009.

In August 2010, the shooting of the film project Dreileben started , to which the directors Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusler contributed a film in addition to Christian Petzold. All three films revolve around a crime from different perspectives that took place in a Thuringian town called "Dreileben". Christian Petzold's contribution was entitled Something Better Than Death . The joint project premiered at the 2011 Berlinale in the “Forum” section. The media response was divided.

In 2012 Christian Petzold received his third invitation to participate in the Berlinale competition with his feature film Barbara ( title role Nina Hoss) . The film is set in the GDR in 1980 and is about a doctor who, after unsuccessfully applying to leave the country, is transferred to a provincial hospital. Christian Petzold was honored with the Silver Bear for best director and in the same year received two nominations for the German Film Prize (in the categories of director and screenplay).

In 2013 he received the Helmut Käutner Prize for “his intellectual brilliance and his sense of hands-on stories” that “make him Käutner's heir ” .

Petzold at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in September 2014

In September 2014 Christian Petzold released his film Phoenix (title role Nina Hoss), which thematizes the Holocaust with a story set in the post-war period. For this he received the International Film Critics' Prize at the San Sebastián Film Festival .

After staging two Polizeiruf-110 episodes ( Kreise , 2015; Wölfe , 2016), Petzold created Transit (2018), a free adaptation of the novel of the same name by Anna Seghers . The movie with Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer in the leading roles was invited to the competition at the 68th Berlinale .

In 2018 he was appointed to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , which awards the Oscars every year.

In 2019 Petzold shot the feature film Undine (2020), again using Paula Beer and Franz Rogowski as the main actors. It is the first part of a planned trilogy that is to take on German romanticism and specifically the motif of the elemental spirits. In the following films, Petzold plans to devote himself to the air and earth spirits thematically. The film ran in 2020 in the competition of the 70th Berlinale and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize .


"The cinema is a huge collection of unsaved people."




  • Johanna Schwenk: Empty spaces - resonance spaces: On the aesthetics of the omission in the work of the film director Christian Petzold. Film Studies 63, Nomos Verlag 2011, ISBN 978-3-8329-6933-2 .
  • Christian Petzold: Barbara: A script. Edited by Fred Breinersdorfer and Dorothee Schön for the German Film Academy . Pro Business 2012, ISBN 978-3-86386-232-9 .
  • Ilka Brombach, Tina Kaiser (ed.): About Christian Petzold. Vorwerk 8, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-940384-99-7 .
  • Cinema is the future, but it always looks back. A conversation with Christian Petzold by Bernd Stiegler and Alexander Zons. Moment. Konstanzer Hefte zur Medienwissenschaft 75/76, Schüren Verlag, Marburg 2020, ISBN 978-3-7410-0206-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Interview on the DVD Internal Security
  2. Petzold in an interview on the website of the film Ghosts .
  3. : "In the intermediate realm".
  4. "German Film Prize: An Overview of the Nominations" , Die Welt, March 13, 2009.
  5. Frankfurter Rundschau, S edition of March 16, 2009, page 21, and Der einsame Weg on the website of the Deutsches Theater Berlin ( memento of October 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ).
  6. Something better than the death of the Berlinale website , last accessed on March 22, 2011.
  7. See Hanna Pilarczyk: “ARD crime fiction multi-part series 'Dreileben'. Too many cooks make porridge ” , Spiegel Online from February 15, 2011, last accessed on March 22, 2011, or the press review on ( Memento of the original from February 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet tested. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , last accessed on March 22, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. ^ "Start of shooting for 'Barbara' with Nina Hoss. New collaboration between ZDF and Christian Petzold ” at on August 16, 2011, last accessed on January 12, 2012.
  9. ^ "Christian Petzold receives Helmut Käutner Prize" , Focus dated November 25, 2012, last accessed on November 28, 2012.
  10. Georg Diez: What's that supposed to mean? In: Spiegel online, September 22, 2014 .
  11. Kira Taszman: Christian Petzold - Interview on Phoenix, in: Negativ, September 25, 2014 .
  12. Academy invites 928 to Membersphip . In: (accessed June 26, 2018).
  13. Norbert Raffelsiefen: "Fates instead of theses" . In: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger , March 23, 2019, No. 70, p. 24.
  14. Prizes from independent juries . In:, February 29, 2020 (accessed February 29, 2020).
  15. "Cinema is a collection of unsaved people" , Die Presse , April 30, 2018
  16. ^ Adolf Grimme Prize: Laureate 2005 ( Memento from April 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  17. This year the Julius Campe Prize goes to Christian Petzold ,, published and accessed on July 19, 2018
  18. Neisse Filmfestival awards prizes ( memento of the original from October 18, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Saxon newspaper of May 20, 2018 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /