Eisenstein in Guanajuato

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German title Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Original title Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Country of production Mexico , Netherlands , Finland , Belgium , France
original language English
Publishing year 2015
length 110 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Peter Greenaway
script Peter Greenaway
production Bruno Felix ,
San Fu Maltha ,
Cristina Velasco ,
Femke Wolting
camera Reinier van Brummelen
cut Elmer Leupen
Elmer Bäck and Maya Zapata at the Berlinale

Eisenstein in Guanajuato [ gwanaˈxwato ] is a film by Peter Greenaway , which takes biographical elements from the life of Sergej Eisenstein , especially his 1931 trip to Mexico, and processes them in a kind of film collage. The premiere of the film was in the competition of the Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2015. The cinema release in Germany was on November 12, 2015.


In 1931, at the height of his career, the Soviet film director Sergej Eisenstein traveled to Guanajuato to see the film Que viva Mexico! to turn. Once in Mexico, Eisenstein got to know a culture that made a deep impression on him. In the life-affirming, morbid stranger, Eisenstein begins to ponder life and question the Stalin regime. At the end there is the artistic transformation from a conceptual filmmaker to a philosophical author who advocates the so-called conditio humana . With this in mind, he reassembles his impressions of Mexican culture. Through his changed perception and the togetherness with his attractive guide Palomino Cañedo, he discovered his homosexuality.

Stylistic means

Georg Seeßlen points out the frequent changes from black and white to color. This shows leaps in time, and it is possible to insert original recordings from Eisenstein's early films. Greenaway picks up Eisenstein's cutting rhythm and expands it with its own developments. “ You can see why I was so excited about Eisenstein. They are great ideas that are consciously implemented in a frenzy of images. There is an intense interest in presenting these ideas as pictures rather than perfumed text illustrations. “Greenaway quotes Eisenstein's encounters in the West with“ Malevich, Mayakovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Gorky, Pudowkin, Dowschenko, Wertow and now also Joyce, Brecht, Cocteau, Shaw, Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, Stroheim, von Sternberg, Flaherty, Chaplin , Stravinsky, Disney, Corbusier, Buñuel, Dietrich, Garbo, Mickey Mouse, Rin Tin Tin ... and all the visionaries in Mexico: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Orozco, Siqueiros ”. These quotations are shown synchronously by superimposed images in split-screen technology. In addition to quotes from the film, Greenaway also quotes Eisenstein's drawings that he made while working in Mexico. Greenaway works with dizzying camera pans at an extremely wide angle . Settings are duplicated via split screen and the voices of the actors are repeatedly audible. Very often the camera rotates around the scene. Eisenstein's bedroom is shown as a huge hall with a glass floor. The main part of the soundtrack is the music of Sergei Prokofiev , who also composed the music for Eisenstein's late films Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible .


The film service ruled that Peter Greenaway was taking Eisenstein's trip “as an occasion for a playful collage of shapes and colors in which Eisenstein appears as a late adolescent child coming out in Mexico ”. The film reflects "on the relationship between sex and death as well as the unconditional commitment to lust as a means of liberation". Political backgrounds are “only vaguely touched upon; Eisenstein as a historical figure is taken into the service of a brightly colored farce that is not stingy with surface stimuli ”.


The film won the Ocaña Award at the 2015 Seville European Film Festival. He also received third place (Golden Space Needle Award) at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival . The film was also shown at the 2015 Nederlands Film Festival , where it was a contender for the local film award, the Golden Calf .


The German synchronization took over Edition Salzgeber . Dialogue script and direction: Marc Boettcher .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of release for Eisenstein in Guanajuato . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , October 2015 (PDF; test number: 155 036 K).
  2. a b Eisenstein in Guanajuato. Film service , accessed on December 15, 2015 (short review).
  3. Release Info. Internet Movie Database , accessed December 15, 2015 .
  4. Georg Seeßlen: Clown in Mexico in Die Zeit from November 19, 2015
  5. Peter Greenaway's comment on his encounter with Eisenstein's films.
  6. I. Karetnikova et al .: Les Dessins Mexicains d'Eisenstein ( Мексиканские Рисунки Эйзенштейна ; French and Russian). Sovjetskij Chudožnik Publishing House, Moscow 1969.
  7. Greenaway uses musical fragments from the symphonies No. 1 (1916/17) and 5 (1944), the opera Die Liebe zu den Drei Orangen (1919) and the ballet Romeo and Juliet (1935/36)
  8. Awards. Internet Movie Database, accessed December 15, 2015 .