Love council

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Original title Love council
Country of production Germany
original language English
Publishing year 1982
length 92 minutes
Director Werner Schroeter
script Horst Alexander , Dietrich Kuhlbrodt , Roberto Lerici
production Peter Berling , Hanns Eckelkamp
camera Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein
cut Catherine Brasier-Snopko

Liebeskonzil is a film adaptation of the satirical-grotesque play Das Liebeskonzil (1894) by Oskar Panizza from 1982.

The film premiered at the 1982 Berlinale in the sold-out Zoo Palast . The film by director Werner Schroeter was banned by the Austrian government in 1985 on the grounds that it insulted the Christian religion (§ 188 StGB).


The core plot, which is based on Panizza's play and integrates its staging by the Teatro Belli in Rome, is embedded in a framework that takes up the trial against the author of the play in which Panizza was sentenced to prison in 1895.

In the actual plot, God the Father and Jesus, who are both overwhelmed with their roles, and Mary negotiate with the devil, who receives a special commission in view of the sins of the people up to the papal court and because of the inability of God to create more people. Against a number of concessions that God the Father has to grant him, the devil should devise a punishment for people who punish their viciousness directly, but does not bring them eternal rejection. To implement the devil fathered a daughter with Salome , who was from the court of Pope Alexander VI. starting from the syphilis spread over the whole of humanity.

The plot of the film is not completely identical to Panizza's play; like the Italian production at the Teatro Belli , it lacks the most unrestrained scene at the court of Alexander VI. in the Vatican.


"The film adaptation of the Oskar Panizza play of the same name is also an excursus about state censorship and artistic nonconformism."

- Lexicon of International Films

“In long, static shots, the camera shows the colorful and highly stylized performance of the Panizza play by the Roman“ Teatro Belli ”. Schroeter's own contribution is essentially limited to the excursus on state censorship and artistic nonconformism in the framework plot, which reconstructs the Munich blasphemy trial against Panizza in 1895. "

The film could not meet the high expectations: Instead of the expected provocation, the film aroused rather disappointed boredom and was soon seen as a flop, the criticism of religion as a harmless anachronism from the Wilhelmine era. The low-budget production was also unsuccessful financially and only attracted a small number of viewers to the few cinemas in which the film was shown.

In May 1985 the Tyrolean provincial government banned the film because it insulted the Christian religion and offended the religious feelings of the majority Catholic population in Tyrol. When the Otto Preminger Institute for Audiovisual Media Design (OPI) wanted to show the love council six evenings in their cinema in Innsbruck, the Innsbruck diocese filed a complaint against the director of the OPI, Dietmar Zingl, and found the support of the public prosecutor. Despite harsh reactions of the Austrian press, the film as a short time before was the specter of Herbert Achternbusch prohibited in Tyrol.

On September 20, 1994, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the Otto Preminger Institute against Austria that the prohibition of the film was a legitimate restriction of artistic freedom , because the film could offend the religious feelings of Catholics. Three of the nine judges gave a minority vote. The film is still not available in stores.

Awards for the film

In 1983 the film won the critics award at the São Paulo International Film Festival .


Web links


The film Das Gespenst (1982) was also banned in Austria with reference to § 188 StGB.

Individual evidence

  1. Full text of § 188 StGB
  2. quoted in: Das Liebeskonzil (FRG 1981)., accessed on August 13, 2018 .
  3. quoted in: The Love Council. Filmkollektiv Frankfurt, accessed on August 13, 2018 .
  4. Numerous corresponding critic quotes can be found in Peter DG Brown, The Continuing Trials of Oskar Panizza: A Century of Artistic Censorship in Germany, Austria and Beyond. In: German Studies Review 24/3 (October 2001), pp. 537f.
  5. ^ Dietrich Kuhlbrodt : The love council. In: Scriptwriter's own review., January 2006, accessed on August 13, 2018 .
  6. Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (English)
  7. see previous footnote at the end of the website.