Brecht (2019) Movie Script

No! No! No! No!
Turn on all the lights and...
No, there's no way around it.
Turn on the brightest lights.'
East Berlin, 1956.
Chausee street 125.
Berthold Brecht's flat.
Even the beloved of my youth
who I was very fond of...
and who slipped away from me
because of my weird apathy...
is memorised by me like a
book character that I read about.
Bidi in Beijing.
In the Allgau Bi.
He says hello,
she says good morning.
I come right after Goethe.
That's what he said.
But the way he said it,
it was a bit pretentious.
I didn't see that back then.
Summer 1917.
The sixth-former Brecht has his first
date with student Paula Banholzer.
He has a song for her.
Why do you say something like that?
- What do you mean?
Stumble through the hellish heat.
It's just a song, Paula.
A game.
- One doesn't joke about hellish heat.
Aren't you afraid that you'll
spend eternity with sinners...
in hellish heat, you mean?
Now you're even laughing!
don't you believe in hell?
I do.
And in heaven.
I'd prefer that.
Although being in hell with Lucifer and the
sinners would be more interesting company.
Is nothing sacred to you?
You and I.
- Sacred? Us?
Something special.
I'm nothing special.
I'm nothing.
That can change.
I'm catholic.
Just so you know.
And you?
I read the bible a lot.
A nice book.
A strong book.
But also an evil book.
The Holy Scripture?
I was so shocked that
I immediately ran away.
All the way back!
He couldn't run after me.
I was so shocked that
he dared to do that.
He apologised later.
I learned to live with it.
The fact that he was that way.
I was unexperienced in those things.
We opened an umbrella.
Then he was so glad that
he was allowed to kiss me.
Then he was pleased.
Shall we call each other
by our first names?
Not Eugen.
And you're Bi now.
Why Bi?
That's how I was.
Partially bitter, partially sweet.
He chose that.
Maybe it was true.
He said it because I wasn't
willing to be intimate with him.
That was bitter for him.
I want you to be mine.
Everyone shall know.
But you mustn't go out
with another man anymore.
I think he was afraid because
of my other admirers.
He was angry and
ordered me to his room.
I sat in a corner, very shy.
He talked for
more than an hour.
He just gave a lecture.
He later told me that
he was scared I could leave.
Augsburg during the Great War.
They went to war in 1914.
Brecht's friend Caspar Neher
had volunteered.
Brecht wrote a play.
His Baal celebrated life.
When a trull has fat hips
I throw her onto the green grass.
I air the skirt and the trousers.
It's sunny and I love it.
Yes, that's the Baal.
He takes one woman after another.
- And men!
He throws them away
when they're digested.
He's like life.
It knows no morale.
The Baal could make you famous.
You too.
I need you.
If we died next week...
Cas, I have plans with you.
I was interested in what the war is.
That's why I volunteered.
Now we know better.
- Yes.
Death lives there.
You can see it every day.
It rips people apart.
The dead get kicked into the mud.
Eleven classmates were conscripted.
They're ready to give up their
lives for their fatherland.
Dulce et decorum
est pro patria mori.
It's sweet and honourable
to die for the fatherland.
A saying by the noble Horace.
All of you explained these
words nicely in your essays.
I'd be so glad to do my duty.
To die as a hero at the frontline.
Sit down!
Get up!
Read this!
The saying that it's sweet and
honourable to die for the fatherland...
can only be seen as propaganda.
Dying is always tough, whether you
do so in bed or on the battlefield.
Especially when it comes
to young men in the...
That's a shabby, materialistic
conception of man.
No ideals.
He said something that
many people thought.
Keep going.
He said too much
although many thought it.
Because many people didn't think it through.
They felt it, but they never said it.
Only idiots can be vain enough to...
- I can't hear you.
Only idiots can be vain enough to
call it a jump through the dark gate.
And only as long as they think
they won't die soon.
Shut up!
That's a mockery of
your classmates' deaths.
You ruined your life with that.
The school conference will decide
whether you can stay at this school.
Brecht, you're a disappointment.
May God help you.
They want to expel you.
I can't tell mum, as she's
getting sicker and sicker.
Eugen, what did you think?
Dear God!
- It's true.
Tecum phillipos et celerem fugam.
The Horace fled.
- You can't say everything you think!
Let your father tell you that.
One mustn't say the truth?
What do you know?
You wrote different truths
when the war started.
We Germans have to protect
our honour. Our freedom.
That's worth any sacrifice.
The newspapers wrote it.
I was proud.
Do you know what
your new truths mean?
No A-levels or medicine study.
No exemption.
A certificate because of my heart...
I won't be picked at the mustering.
No, you'll be drafted once
you're expelled from school.
You'll end up at the frontline.
There's no exception anymore.
One does his duty.
And you?
What are you doing?
I write.
Yes, you write.
You write and feel superior to all of us.
A poet.
What shall become of this?
I want to become famous.
I'll show the world how it is.
How it really is.
They left a spot for you
under Goethe and Schiller.
Yes, I'm next.
I'll be next.
I'll stand there one day.
Did you believe him?
- Absolutely.
He always said:
I'm the last German poet.
The last German genius.
Listen, people!
The story that just recently took place.
That I tell you faithfully.
Let's take a page out of this book.
Theatre should be like that.
A singer starts the play.
A clown comments.
Watch out for Hamlet.
He'll make a great mistake.
He'll be knocked out.
Look at the fat guy.
A hundredweight and flies like a pidgeon.
Look at the skirt,
they're having sex up there.
The funfair changes the people.
Be glad that you can do your A-levels.
You just got off.
They said it was the action of a young
man who was confused by war.
Others went to the madhouse for that.
I'm needed.
It's you?
- Miss Rcker!
You're back at the Brecht family?
- It's bad with Mrs. Brecht.
She can't take care
of the household anymore.
Mr. Neher!
Eugen hasn't heard
from you in a long time.
From the frontline.
Where were you?
Mrs. Brecht...
- Sit down next to me.
Eugen will study medicine in autumn.
In Munich.
My brother won't need to join the army.
I hope they'll pick me next year.
How are you?
In the sun...
some power returns.
That helps...
against the pain.
I'm more of a guest in life.
Look at that!
Raised from the dead.
Miss Rcker...
- And my father?
I think they had something going.
- It can become like that again.
The doctors checked me.
- So?
- Fit for active service.
What a combination of words.
That's what the marching order says.
- I won't go to your funeral.
If that's what destiny wants...
- Destiny?
Cas, the war, the bloodbath
is one big lie.
I think all of life is a lie.
I recently saw a spider.
It throws its web
from one side to another.
It climbs up and down.
It was beautiful.
How it carries that thread in its body.
A thread that takes it anywhere.
Listen.' You still have it!
- No!
I'm a dead brick.
I've already been in a trench,
stuck under bars.
Buried alive.
- I could hardly move.
It was dark. I forgot how
many days and nights...
And when you're dead,
the worms come.
First, the rats come.
We're lying at the Lech,
in the sun.
Float through the water.
Look into the naked, hungry sky.
In the evening.
Podsnappery is in bed and snores.
And Paula?
How are things with her?
You nosy pastor!
Paula will have to confess soon.
When a trull has fat hips...
I throw her onto the green grass.
- I throw her onto the green grass.
I air skirt and trousers.
- and trousers.
Sunny as I love it!
- as I love it!
When the trull bites out of ecstasy...
I wipe away with green grass.
- I wipe away with green grass.
Mouth, bite and lap and nose...
clean as I love that!
- clean as I love that!
It's gruesome.
What's gruesome?
I have to go back.
And you, too.
Bert as a medicine
student is exempted.
Neher, we have plans!
Remember that they won't
grub you out again.
Three, four!
When the trull does the nice thing...
fiery and in excess...
- fiery and in excess...
I give her my hand and laugh...
kindly as I love that!
- kindly as I love that!
The Baal lives in an attic.
Now he takes Sophie inside on his arms
as if he had stolen her from the street, you see?
Sophie breathes heavily.
Serenely Baal says:
Can't you breathe properly?
Sophie: I don't know what's wrong.
She leans against the wall.
Baal: I know what it is. It's spring.
It gets dark and you smell me.
That's how it is with animals.
- Animals?
That shall be said in theatre
in front of all the people?
Baal closes the door,
goes to her and hugs Sophie.
Sophie is breathless.
Leave me alone!
You're so ugly!
So ugly that it shocks one.
Baal: But so...
it doesn't matter.
Baal kisses Sophie.
Sophie: Don't! Don't!
Do you know that nobody has ever...
Nothing has ever
been where I am!
Baal leads Sophie to the bed.
They sit down.
You have to love me!
That's what I got you for!
I have to go home.
They're waiting for me at home.
- Yes, you have to.
If they send you to the countryside again...
To hoard?
- Yes, that's what I meant.
What then?
He had a room in Munich.
I think it was in Schwabing.
He said I should lie down in his room.
He had to go to university to do a lecture
and he'd pick me up for lunch.
Dear Cas!
The Bittersweet case is
getting close to a catharsis.
It has to be over until you read this.
She seems to want it.
May God and I help her.
No, Bidi!
Then we went to eat something.
The dessert was blueberry cuts.
The teeth and lips turned blue.
He saw me and had to laugh and kissed me in front
of all the people because he liked it so much.
I was ashamed but he liked that.
That's how it was.
From that day on I couldn't get
rid of a certain guilty conscience.
On the other hand, I stuck
to Brecht even more intimately.
From now on our best time started.
Dear Cas, I now have
Bittersweet completely.
You have to paint her.
She didn't get her period.
Of course I wasn't even a bit careful.
It'd have harmed the fun.
I'm not a tarot player.
I can't hold my trumps back.
Come back!
I'll return.
I want to fight.
So the war won't come
to you. To Germany.
Be careful!
And return safely.
My instructors say I'm the best
soldier in the depot of recruits.
A good soldier sees danger.
Should it happen...
One letter is for mum
and one is for you.
Thanks for everything.
Be careful!
I'll write to you.
I'm scared for him.
He swims in the hero joy.
I don't like how you say that.
The enemy isn't on German soil yet.
It's about an honourable peace.
Honour, duty and fatherland.
And then?
A hero's death.
The way you look...
You don't even wear a belt.
I lost it.
What are those shoes?
I'm just a paramedic soldier.
I nurse people with social diseases.
They have their wounds
from a different battlefield.
And when the war in the fourth
spring didn't look out on peace...
the consequence for the
soldier was a hero's death.
The doctors went to the cemetery.
They dug out the fallen soldier.
With a farewell!
With trull and dog and cleric.
And in the middle of it is the dead soldier.
Like a drunk monkey.
The stars aren't always there.
A dawn will come.
But as the soldier learned it,
he accepts the hero's death.
More than two million
dead soldiers at the frontline.
More than two
million war cripples.
And 426,000 people died
of hunger in Germany.
The war was lost.
Turn of eras!
In November 1918 the empire
collapsed in a revolution.
The radical left amongst
the revolutionaries...
demanded the capitalistic social
system to be overthrown.
The young republic, headed by the social
democrats, called the military for help.
In Berlin's newspaper neighbourhood
the armed forces fight Spartacus.
What is it?
I have to leave.
- Leave?
Our child, I...
It mustn't be born here.
I wasn't asked. I was someone
who suddenly had to leave.
The bus only drives once a day.
Yes, one really is stuck here.
I mustn't show up in Augsburg.
The shame!
And the child?
We'll find foster parents and maybe
I can return home in a year.
The child wasn't there yet and he
came at least every four weeks.
He slept in the room next door.
I went to him and he
was out of his mind.
What is it? What's wrong?
- My heart!
He was scared.
One is scared when
it comes to the heart.
He was so scared. I made
cold compresses for him.
He said it got better.
And it really did.
He slowly calmed down.
One day I'll open the drawer and
enough money will be in there.
I really thought about that because
I had never seen anything like that.
Calm down! Calm down!
Everything's fine.
Feuchtwanger! Feuchtwanger!
He's reading my Spartacus.
The man is famous in Munich.
If he suggested it
to the intimate theatre...
Yes, if he suggested it
to the intimate theatre...
Caspar Neher's diary.
March 1919.
I spent time with Bert today
and was glad.
We realised that Bert is a genius.
So am I!
We believe in our genius like
in the straw of the drowning.
The students Brecht and Neher
commute between Augsburg and Munich.
With sympathy they see the revolution
in Munich starting a council republic.
A dream of many artists.
When the communists take over the power
in the republic, the armed forces march in.
Brecht and Neher see the military...
supported by the corps of volunteers,
fight down the council republic bloodily.
Brecht's brother, Walter,
joined the corps of volunteers.
Walter, you don't have to
risk your life anymore.
Spartacus is dead.
You'd never risk your life.
No way!
Especially not for
the corps of volunteers.
Get to your student flat safely.
Yesterday they stabbed a guard here.
The comrades are pretty angry.
Above Theresienwiese, enemy corpses
were lying in several rows.
They were killed quickly.
We had to watch some of us going
to the corpses and disgracing them.
The mass grave was awaiting the corpses that
were disgraced with blood, faeces and urine.
Walter Brecht told me about it in 1984.
How did he experience the
disruption of the deathwatch?
It was an incredible
blasphemy and insolence.
That's how I understood it back then.
I'd lie if I said I'd understand it
differently after all these years.
The challenge of the others
that felt pain in that house...
to cover the own feelings.
That's how he was.
20 winters had threatened her.
Her sufferings were legions.
Death was ashamed of her.
I went to work.
At 7 AM he sat next to the moat.
He told me that he had to write
the death poem for his mother.
Why don't we say what's important?
They were simple words.
Right behind the teeth.
They fell out when we laughed
and we choke on them in our throats.
Did you ever see him cry?
- No! No!
You can't imagine
that Brecht could cry?
I can't.
Notebook 1921.
Front page.
He could laugh sardonically.
But he...
I can't imagine that.
Love is like a gipsy.
It doesn't ask for rights, law or power.
If you don't love me, I'm in flames.
And be careful when I'm in love.
If you don't love me,
my love burns hot in me.
He just came into my
wardrobe and complimented me.
He talked and talked.
I realised that
I took to him.
Then we went for a
walk through Augsburg.
He talked and talked.
Thanks for the farewell gift.
I'll talk to the directorship of the
intimate theatre about your play.
But the name "Spartacus" gives it
an incorrect political tendency.
A post-war soldier only
takes his own side.
For the wide, civil bed.
But just because it
wasn't brought up politically.
Marta has a good suggestion.
Drums in the night.
It could be by me.
- We'll pick that.
Good night.
Dr. Feuchtwanger!
It's always a pleasure to meet you.
He's a dog.
- He wants everything and everyone.
A maneater.
In his own way.
Is this real?
Living is worth it.
You danced tantalisingly
with Mrs. Feuchtwanger.
Very sensually.
But then I ran away from her.
You came to me.
And we danced.
to cheek.
Very sensually.
Why did you want to
leave before midnight?
Because it's my birthday now.
I'm 23 years old now.
I'm a little older.
Spiritually speaking I'm a Methuselah.
Whole libraries are up there.
And some plays that
will go on stage now.
Drums in the night!
Then, The Baal.
And before that:
The Bible!
An early work.
An early work?
You're only 23.
I wrote it when I was 15.
Then there'll be Gargei.
my summer symphony.
Where did you get the fur?
A singer needs this nowadays.
Fur protects.
Put it away!
You have a weird way of dancing.
It's more like rhythmic stepping.
What does that creep want from you?
I don't like it when he touches
you with his slippery frog fingers.
I told him I can't do it anymore.
I don't want it anymore.
What did he say?
He loves me.
He does anything for me
if I'll stay with him.
I can smell him.
How he comes close to you
with his cadaveric odour.
And how it disgusts you.
- He isn't like that!
If I want him to, he leaves me alone.
- Tell him you're mine!
He knows it.
- So?
He cried.
Machiavelli with wet tissues.
You won't accept money
from him anymore!
You won't let him into your house
anymore and definitely not into your bed.
No way!
I don't like that!
- I can't forbid the theatre to him.
Not that!
But the way you sing to him...
- I'm Carmen!
Yes, but also the Mar...
I'm pregnant.
From whom?
- From whom? You!
But don't worry.
I'll marry Recht.
Diary 21st of March 1921:
I already have a child
that grows up with farmers.
He shall become fat and not curse me.
But now the unborn
already fight for me.
I can't marry.
I need free elbows.
Sleep alone. Be unscrupulous.
I'm a gipsy.
I need someone who's different.
Someone who holds me and
stops me from running away.
I'll write films now.
And a lead for you.
Do you still like me a bit?
Silly nanny goat.
I think about you every day.
Once I'm 21 we can marry.
Well, we'd need money.
We could take the boy as well.
Come, let's keep going.
The place he lives at, with
the roadman and his wife...
Is this right for him?
They're good people.
Frank Banholzer stayed in
Kimratshofen for many more years.
He went to school here.
An older roadmaker and his
wife had taken him for a payment.
The parents only visited him rarely.
From Marianne for you.
I'll marry Recht.
You understand?
She had profuse haemorrhage.
She had to be operated.
And yes, the child died.
Mrs. Recht?
That's your name here?
- No, he brought me here.
Now you're free.
You can travel to
your job in Wiesbaden.
Nothing is in the way
of your career anymore.
Why do you want to torture me?
I just lost my child.
My child, which you'd
have betrayed to him.
After the first bleeding you
suggested an abortion to me.
You and your medicine
student Mllereisert.
I didn't want to get rid of it.
I wanted to keep it.
Look, Marianne!
This is Frank.
My son.
I just visited him in
Kimratshofen with Paula.
A clever, nice boy.
I cruelly show her
the pictures of Frank.
She cries loudly.
I could strangle the person.
The whore shall not have a child.
My child left her, as she has no pure heart.
Out of me!
Now having her used as a whore
and throwing her to the others...
You aren't mine anymore.
One should weigh this heavily when
it comes to the Marianne story:
The half Jew is a businessman, the woman is an
opera singer and the young man is a littrateur.
The businessman wants her spirit.
The littrateur wants her body.
I travel to the sea with Bi.
We take a sunbath in the boat.
She looks incredible.
Slim and tender.
I taught her how to swim.
- He taught me how to swim?
He's a liar.
A liar.
I could swim.
I had learned it.
I was 13 when I learned to swim.
Or maybe 12.
We're sitting in the cabin.
She has a pure, natural way.
An incredible grace and
dignity in everything.
She says I seem manly when I talk.
Just like my face does.
In bed she's childish and cheeky and
at her best when something happens.
I like her a lot.
He had a lot of poetic fantasy there.
You just were on the other side of the sea
with Bi and now you're back with Marianne.
You can't let anyone go.
She loves me.
And Recht broke her.
He can't satisfy her sexually.
She tells you stuff like that?
- Yes. "Only you can satisfy me".
She has beautiful words for that.
Thanks, Ma.
- Piglet!
A little more respect!
- Talented piglet!
I want Timbuktu and a child.
And a house without a door.
I want to be alone in bed
and in bed with a woman.
At the same time?
Yes, that's the problem.
And I also want the apples from the
tree and the wood from the tree.
I don't want to use an axe.
But I want the tree with blossoms, apples
and leafage in front of my window.
Anything else?
A servant for dunging.
- He wants everything.
And why?
Because I only exist once.
And who's the servant?
Always the others.
- Always the others.
That love kitsch!
Big feelings.
I cried in long, long nights.
I'm inferior to my suffering.
If I hadn't found out so soon...
that you've always cheated on me!
I'd have done anything for you.
And yet you never loved me.
Marianne Zoff's note, 1921:
A great man is allowed to lie.
Lie all the time.
Why not?
Anyway, if you lie so well that you
believe it yourself, that's an art.
And who can lie in summer
when it's hot? Really hot!
Brecht can. Bert Brecht
can do anything!
On that day in September under a blue moon,
quietly under a young plum tree...
I held it, the quiet, pale love.
In my arm, as if it were a nice dream.
And above us in the sky was a
cloud I watched for a long time.
It was white...
Bronnen, you're finally here.
I saw!
I had never seen a human before.
I felt as if what would come next,
could never end.
I immediately had insight.
In that small, plain human,
the heart of our time beats.
Many moons have passed since then.
The plum trees seem to have run away.
You ask me what
happened to the love?
I only had one wish.
The feelings of students. Love!
Great love in the world...
make him my friend.
I know what you mean!
But her face?
I don't remember!
And he asked: "Love! Love in the world,
make him my friend".
A little emphatic and theatrical.
But some feelings really
must have been in him.
Yes, they were two
very different people.
But for some reason
they attracted each other.
- Bertolt.
With a T at the end?
Yes, I think so.
I'm a fan of uncapitalization.
- Of everything?
All the way!
Brecht had "Baal" ready
and my father had "Parricide".
Both were on the rise.
They were poor and
knew how to stylise themselves.
Brecht with his long leather coat...
- Bronnen, Lord of the North Ocean!
and my father with white suits...
- Brecht, Lord of the South Ocean!
or suits in general.
He was more lordly.
The two of them were
like asphalt cowboys.
They walked the streets of Berlin as
they didn't have enough money for the bus.
They walked all night long.
From one premiere to the next.
Brecht always knew
someone somewhere.
Whether it was the caller or an actor,
someone got them into the groups.
They didn't have to pay and
yet they could watch it.
In Berlin, Brecht failed with
staging Bronnen's play "Parricide".
His first own premiere took place
in Munich's intimate theatre.
Paula looks great!
I wrote the play for her.
Drums in the night.
Your first premiere,
your fame is growing.
I have to thank Feuchtwanger
that my play takes place.
Look there!
Next to his wife!
That's Jhering, the critic
of the Berlin Stock Courier.
He will decide?
- Yes.
Whether Berlin will be able to spell
my name from tomorrow on. Yes.
Or the power of love?
The bloodbath in the newspaper neighbourhood,
or is every man best in his own skin?
The bagpipe pipes.
People die in the
newspaper neighbourhood.
Houses fall on them!
The morning is coming!
They're on the asphalt
like drowned cats.
I'm a pig and the pig goes home.
I'll put on a fresh shirt.
I still am alive!
The screaming will be
over tomorrow morning.
But I'll be in bed tomorrow morning.
So I don't die out.
Don't stare so romantically,
you profiteers.
You cutthroats and
bloodthirsty cowards.
Here comes the bed.
The great white bed.
Well, alright.
The 24 year old Bert Brecht...
changed Germany's
literary face over night.
With Brecht, a new tone, a new
melody, a new vision is in our time.
No, not arrived!
Just "is in our time"!
A sensational literary premiere.
The unusual success of
Bert Brecht's comedy...
"Drums in the night" was a new sign that
the real and strong always forces through.
To the registrar at the
register office Munich. Urgent!
Shorten the banns for the marriage of
Eugen Bertolt Brecht and Miss Marianne Zoff.
In their names I want you
to shorten their banns...
so that the marriage can take place
on the 3rd or 4th of November 1922.
Reason: The bride is five months pregnant.
The doctor's certificate is attached.
And the groom and playwright Bertolt
Brecht, who became famous due to his play...
"Drums in the Night" has to leave
Munich for his premiere in Berlin.
He'll then travel through Germany for
a long time to get to all the premieres.
He won't be able to return quickly without
professional interferences and high costs.
How long do you want to
stay in Berlin this time?
I just married in Munich.
Don't even unpack.
Sorry, but I need my room tonight.
- A Miss?
And me, Arnolt?
You know Helene Weigel.
- The gifted?
She currently acts at the
state theatre with Jessner.
She wants to become great!
She lives right on the other side
of the street. Spichernstreet 16.
Right under the roof.
You think I can just...
- Yes.
She's famous for her cooked desserts.
Viennese kitchen.
For one night?
For one night!
I see.
Do you have my bed for tonight?
- Who said that?
Come in.
You have a nice flat.
Do you like it?
- An atelier!
And the whole city
in front of the window.
Theatres, publishers,
newspapers, bars and cinemas.
All friends, all enemies.
Do you want to conquer
all of Berlin right away?
If you want to win through here...
- you need elbows. Made of iron.
The V"Viennese cooked dessert.
Are you looking for a place
to sleep or to have lunch?
- I see.
Brecht wasn't just imaginative,
enjoyable and funny...
but he also had the spirit of a child.
He attracted views, feelings and
touching attempts, without wanting to.
He wanted to have what
he saw or heard about.
You could help me if you
want a soft place to sleep there.
Don't you think the mattress
would be better there?
At mine?
- Yes.
All I can say is:
Sleep well, Sir.
It's cold.
One blanket is too little
for such a night.
On that day in September under a blue moon,
quiet under a young plum tree...
I held it, the quiet pale love.
In my arms, as if it was a nice dream.
And above us in the sky was a cloud
that I looked at for a long time.
It was very white and very far above.
And when I looked up...
it was gone.
This is how it shall stay.
What shall stay as it is?
Always a gift.
No tributes.
No tributes.
Paula Banholzer married the
merchant Hermann Gross in 1924.
She mustn't take Brecht's son to her.
My mother was refused
by my father's family.
She was stained with a mark of shame.
An illegitimate child with Brecht who, in
Germany, was seen as a communist back then.
You know better than I do.
And my mother had a seven
year relationship with that man.
That was held against my mother.
Brecht's son, Frank Banholzer, served
as a soldier in Hitler's Wehrmacht.
He was killed in a cinema
at the eastern front.
Partisans had blown up the building.
Now you can try out your
music in your new headquarter.
Come to me if you
want something to eat.
How did you convince the housing office?
Just to let you know, I'm an actress.
And the poor official...
accepted that he can't let a pregnant
woman walk up all those stairs.
Helli, you're just great.
The way you take care...
- Yes, I'm a useful person.
A special one.
There's no other one like you.
One you can't get rid of anymore?
I can't and don't want to anymore.
Especially now.
He shall be a feast for your eyes.
Like the father.
The two of us are often
well-disposed towards you.
Always a gift.
No tributes.
It shall stay like this.
It shall stay like this.
Alright, be careful with the steep stairs.
It really isn't that
simple anymore.
Hello, you called me.
You need a secretary?
Miss Hauptmann, Miss Weigel.
I was the former tenant.
Here you go.
You know the English language?
- I was a teacher.
So you could teach me.
- If you like it. Really?
There's another question.
Can you write with a typewriter?
- With ten fingers.
Very well.
You'll need that.
Kiepenheuer has my back.
I'll talk to him.
He shall pay you as my secretary.
Do you think he will?
- Yes.
Elisabeth doesn't work out.
How else can I call you?
My mother grew up in New York.
Yes, that fits.
And you fit me.
And we met and I know that
nobody was there for the first year.
Feuchtwanger came, but he was
busy enough taming Berlin.
Brecht and I talked a lot.
Nowadays I can hardly imagine what
kind of partner I was back then.
They show the new Chaplin
in the Marmorhaus.
And here, I translated
the Kipling poems for you.
Very good.
How about Samson Krner?
- He'll tell us about his life.
Very good. You stenograph
and I'll make it a biography.
It could be an interesting story.
Kortner should have to read from it
in the Sportpalast before the fight.
The newspapers love that.
The Steyer plants will do a contest.
The winner will get a new car.
What is Berlin without your own car?
We'll advertise!
Singing Steyr cars!
We drive you without any shaking.
You think you're lying in water.
Drive us!
The way his eyes follow my hand.
It's incredible.
Like his father.
His brother Walter visited us.
He had to say "Miss Weigel".
Nobody told him that he's
the uncle of our Stefan now.
And Marianne?
The wife has no idea.
He's very discreet when
it comes to family business...
Tell me the truth! You have
something going with Weigel!
Who said that?
- I was told so!
Those are lies.
Is it also a lie that you
have a child with her?
And that you always
go to her for lunch?
And that you already got
used to the new child?
Marianne, you're wrong,
Weigel and I don't even get along.
In the end you'll marry her!
I married you and I only know one child.
And that's our Hanne.
You got that?
But if you'll go with another man, it's over!
Do you really want to travel through the
province with that comedian Theo Lingen?
There'll be war between us!
Situation: Horrible!
Here am I, there's the revolver.
Finally, give me the Valerian!
Nissen, a nice guy, but shooting callers:
That's attempted murder.
Works right away.
It calms down.
22nd November, 1927.
Brecht is divorced from Marianne.
The court decided:
As the witnesses refuse to give evidence,
it seems proven that the respondent had...
intercourse with the actor
Theodor Lingen and that the petitioner...
had intercourse with
actress Helene Weigel.
Brecht's attempt to have Marianne
judged as the lone adulterer had failed.
I'm glad I finally found you.
My name is Aufricht.
I just took over the Schiffbauerdamm.
Your own theatre?
- Yes.
- Thanks.
But I have a little problem.
I have no play to open with.
One beer, please.
- Sure.
Joe Fleischhacker.
That's your play.
It takes place in America.
At Chicago's wheat stock.
We'll show the speculation
with the world's bread.
The crimes of capitalism.
- The wheat stock on stage, I don't know.
It's theft.
Exploitation of the poorest.
Look, Aufrecht,
it's like the theft of wages.
The businessmen take the
profit that the workers create.
I thought about something else.
The first crime
that all others stem from.
I need something entertaining.
I might have a little side
achievement I'm working on.
I'm working on it for fun, you see?
Beggar's Opera.
What kind of book
did you have with you?
Beggar's Opera by John Gay.
An opera for beggars?
To be precise,
it's the opera for beggars.
Beggar's Opera?
The play is 200 years old.
Yet it still is a sensational success in London.
You're breathing incorrectly.
Dr. Schmitt told you!
The residual breath has to get out.
What is the play about?
Personnel. Whores, beggars, thieves
and a lawyer who's their concealer.
Everything's about money?
- Lies and fraud.
Very nice.
What is it about?
Peachum started a
beggar empire in London.
He takes whatever
he finds on the street.
The self-employed craftsmen of
the beggars, the talented ones.
His organisation gives them
exact locations in the city.
The company gives
them masks and costumes.
A company and his employees.
He owns the resources
and he exploits the beggars.
There's an interesting character.
A certain MacHeath.
A robber who's drawn towards
beautiful women and prostitutes.
He lies and cheats on one with
another and the second with the third.
But then a real robber
gets into his way.
And he steals his daughter.
That's good.
That smells of theatre.
That's what the Beggar's Opera is about.
The civil lifestyle of criminals.
And the criminal lifestyle of the citizens.
The love that citizens feel for
robbers in novels and cinema...
comes from the mistake
that robbers aren't citizens.
And that comes from the mistake
that citizens aren't robbers.
You'll pay these peanuts, right?
When can I read it?
Tomorrow afternoon you can have
the first scenes picked up at mine.
Spichnerstreet 16.
Right under the roof.
First act, second scene!
A robber is just a sentimentalist as well.
MacHeath wants to
celebrate his wedding.
In white. The bride
demands that. The innocence.
It's already gone.
Yet he needs a bridal bed.
The nicest day in the life of a woman.
All that is needed...
The great feelings.
The operas sing it all the time.
You learned it.
Yes! Exactly!
That's what I mean!
Here's the moment of great empathy.
The old theatre shows what it can do.
The love kitsch.
The pit closes its eyes.
They swim away in the boxes.
And now we cut it open!
We show how fleshy
the civilian love is.
The wallet and the
filled seminal gland.
That's the basis.
Brecht, you're a materialist.
- Yes!
And from the bottom to the top,
there's a loving heart.
But the robber has no marriage
contract in front of state and altar.
And when you have no papers from the
register office and no flowers on the altar...
love still remains.
Or not.
Very good.
That should be sung as a
duet of the loved ones.
Weill has to make us
the music for this.
I'll convince Aufricht.
Love persists...
or it doesn't.
- or it doesn't.
At this...
or that place.
- or that place.
Brecht will include many songs.
- Light!
I'll therefore put a gigantic
fairground organ here.
I'll decorate the pipes with putti.
The music shall get out of
the ditch, that hiding place.
The musicians shall
not remain invisible.
They'll be right here under the organ.
Everyone shall see everything.
Everything far above
the heads of the actors.
Just like in circus.
And that's how the alterations
shall take place as well.
Yes! And here will be
a half-height curtain.
Behind it the alterations
will take place.
Almost visible, almost open.
We emphasise that this is just theatre.
Weill will make the music.
- Weill? Kurt Weill?
He makes that strict
atonal cacophony.
He'll make my audience run away.
No cacophony!
- Weill will make us snappy music.
Sophisticated, catchy songs.
With style.
Don't you want to take
over the whole theatre, Brecht?
Weill has found a new tone.
He underlines sentences
with his music.
It makes you think!
The troops live under
the cannon's thunder...
From Sind to Cooch Behar...
Moving from place to place
where they come face to face...
With a different breed of fellow
whose skins are black or yellow...
And quick as winking chopped them
into beefsteak tartar!
That's good.
I like it.
My wedding with Miss Polly Peachum
will take place in this horse bam today.
She followed me out of love.
To share the rest of my life with me.
Operetta from bottom to top.
All of this is way too cute.
Paulsen, tell me this:
The blue ribbon...
What about it?
Could you forgo it?
- I'd rather forgo this role.
I don't have a proper appearance
in the beginning of the play.
You have to write something, Brecht.
So everyone knows who's the lead!
Let's do him the favour. Weill and I
will introduce him with a bloody ballad.
He'll sing about his crimes.
Alright. With the blue ribbon.
That's nice.
Oh, the shark, babe,
has such teeth, dear...
Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth...
- Yes! Yes!
and it shows them pearly white.
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath,
and he keeps it, out of sight.
That's good, Weill.
That's good.
A nice, ironic contrast.
The tenderly sung "jackknife".
The word could be sharp as well.
So that it cuts.
Just a jackknife...
And he keeps it, out of sight.
It'd be better if Gerron
sang the song as a balladeer.
Right in the beginning
on the Soho market.
Paulsen will be glad about that.
Operetta Paulsen sneaks onto the stage
and hears how his crimes are sung about.
To the ramp!
- Yes!
Oh, the shark, babe,
has such teeth, dear...
and it shows them pearly white.
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe.
And he keeps it, ah, out of sight...
The troops live under
the cannon's thunder...
Moving from place to place,
where they come face to face...
With a different breed of fellow
whose skins are black or yellow...
And quick as winking chopped them
into beefsteak tartar!
The newspapers
predict 500 shows.
500 shows in Berlin.
Now you've conquered the city.
- This means fame.
What about Munich?
Leipzig? Dresden?
Hamburg? Cologne? Knigsberg?
What about London? Paris?
- New York?
And Moscow?
All in white.
Brecht and Helene Weigel with
their children Stefan and Barbara.
They're in their own summer
house on Lake Ammer.
Brecht's and Marianne's daughter
Hanne is sometimes there as well.
The poet Bert Brecht married
Berlin actress Helene Weigel.
It's against the deal.
Burdens were placed on you that can
only be placed on the safest shoulders.
You were overlooked
like the most obvious.
One expected a
special insight from you.
Like those who eat last are
those who are closest to it:
The chefs.
- The chefs.
I know that very well.
So don't put your name on the
never ending list of apostates.
But that's how it is.
It was that tough.
It was tough.
For everyone.
Especially for those who
were always there.
How could this be described?
But he was someone
who wanted to own.
Who wanted to own people as well.
He always had a circle around
him of good friends and women.
He didn't like to give that away.
Marianne Zoff and her daughter Hanne.
After she divorced Brecht,
she married Theo Lingen in 1928.
The popular actor managed
to get his Jewish wife...
her mother and Brecht's daughter
through the terror of Nazi Germany.
Goebbels needed the popular comedian
for his entertainment cinema.
Those faces!
Maxim Gorki's novel
"The Mother" in cinema.
A film by Pudowkin about the
prehistory of the Russian revolution.
That'd be a role for you.
I'm way too young for that.
Pelagea Wlassowa lost
her son in the battles.
She takes over the
flag of the revolution.
How they were hunted
on the 1st of May!
How they were shot at.
Right in front of our eyes.
In front of the Liebknecht's house.
It was rough.
I'd never have thought it possible.
They shot down all
the demonstrations.
The newspaper said
that 20 people died.
The social democrats killed them.
- No Helli, I meant...
how real it suddenly was.
How close.
Hyperinflation, financial
crisis, mass unemployment.
All the suffering under the shining
surface of the Weimar Republic...
is seen as a necessary
crisis of capitalism by Brecht.
The writings of Marx, Engels
and Lenin opened his eyes.
Together with Gnther Weisenborn,
Brecht edits Gorki's novel for the stage.
After the death of her son, the
mother takes over the leadership.
She learns everything the Bourgeoisie knows.
Almost expropriating it.
She realises the connection between possessing
the resources in the factories and exploitation.
That way she takes over the lead.
Becomes a mother for all sons.
What's the problem with communism?
It's sensible,
anyone can understand it.
It's easy.
You're not an exploiter...
so you can grasp it.
It's a good thing for you,
find out more about it.
The stupid call it stupid...
And the squalid call it squalid.
It is against squalor
and against stupidity.
But we know:
It is the end of crime.
It is not madness,
but the end of madness.
It is not the riddle
but the solution.
It is the simple thing
so hard to achieve.
After Hitler took over power, and the Reichstag
was set on fire, the first waves of arrests started.
Friends warned Brecht about an arrest.
Helene Weigel was also in danger.
For the Nazis she was
a Jewish Bolshevik.
Your passports, please!
Elisabeth Hauptmann put her son
Stefan into the plane to Prague.
Daughter Barbara was brought to her
grandfather in Augsburg.
A great police action has just started.
In several areas, from the basement
to the roof and through all flats.
It's checked for example, whether
the people are politically wanted.
A lot of patrol cars with policemen
and machine guns come closer.
An incredible sensation. A fear of communism
started amongst the social democratic officials.
No! No! No! No!
Turn all the lights on!
No, there's no way around it.
Turn on the brightest lights.'
Delay the answers.
Talk to your translator.
You don't understand all questions.
- That's correct, Sir.
Bertolt Brecht has been
in exile for 14 years.
He's ordered to Washington's committee
for un-American activities.
It's about the alleged infiltration
of Hollywood's film industry.
Are you or have you ever been a
member of the communist party?
None of the witnesses will
answer that question.
It's against the fifth amendment
With a lawyer he prepares
for the questioning.
What about the risk if I don't answer?
- You'll go to prison for disregarding the committee.
His Danish co-worker and
beloved Ruth Berlau helps him.
Smoke your cigar.
The others are Americans.
You are stateless.
Most people won't take it badly if you'll
be the only one to answer the question.
But I'm a guest in this country!
I don't want to enter a legal argument.
You've never been a
member of the party. Never.
You don't have to lie about that.
The next day, Brecht left
America to head to Europe.
In 1948 he received an invitation from the German
Theatre in East Berlin in the Soviet sector of the city.
Brecht's play "Mother Courage and
Her Children" should go on stage there.
Helene Weigel as the lead.
Direction would be done
by Erich Engel and Brecht.
16 years.
And not only the houses
were destroyed.
Premiere on the 11th of January 1949.
Will the people here
want to watch us?
Did the breakdown cause enough
thirst for something new?
They'll watch me and listen to me when I
show them the story of the war and Courage.
That's unfamiliar for them.
Now you're nervous like
before every premiere.
But it's an important, special premiere.
They won't run away.
I'll make sure of that.
After all, it's warmer
inside than outside.
Look at the crowd!
They haven't forgotten him.
If Brecht knew how much time you spent
watching his journey on the news...
America, Switzerland and Austria.
And now he's here in the theatre.
Amongst the visitors are direction student
Egon Monk and actress Isot Kilian.
The sutler Courage moves through
the Thirty Years' War with her chariot.
Her destiny is the destiny of the simple person.
The sutler does business with war.
She loses everything, even her children.
Many out there lost a lot as well.
Now they feel like victims.
Go out there and show them
how it happened.
It's their fault like it's Courage's.
No mercy! Maybe they'll
understand that there's another way.
Like all good things, war is
hard to handle in the beginning.
Once it flourishes, it's tough.
The people then recoil from peace
as the dicers do from stopping.
They'd have to count how much they lost.
But first they recoil from war.
When the play begins, before Courage's cart rolls
in, the recruiter talks about war and business...
in a cynical and funny way
that is completely unusual for me.
I realised that one can talk about sacred goods
like the nation and the life of the nation like that.
That one can laugh about it.
My whole outlook on life has changed.
Besides that, the play was bone-deep.
I had never seen theatre like that.
The snaw's aw gone...
The deid lie deid.
But you that haven't died as yet...
the powers that be, they still do need.
Wi no one sausage for to eat...
yer squaddie'll fight till he faws deid
But how does yer squaddie march tae fight...
in scabby boots that's faur too tight?
And I told myself:
You have to get to him!
Brecht decided to move from
Switzerland to the Soviet sector in Berlin.
He moved into a mansion
at Weissensee.
Wait! Wait! Wait!
- Yes.
It was the right place
for his new beginning.
On the right side of history
at the right moment.
And here was a state-funded ensemble
with which he could try out his plays.
First he was a permanent
guest in the German Theatre.
But he hoped for his own theatre.
The best one would be the
Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.
It's exhausting to be evil.
Where he celebrated a global success
with his Threepenny Opera
Let's unpack the flight luggage.
The suitcases were always
on top of the cupboard.
For the next flight.
He'll have to wait a little longer.
Carrar, Puntila, Chalk Circle.
How much time do I have left?
Who will help us?
We won't make it on our own.
They'll come to you.
As if they had waited
whether Brecht still exists.
The old ones who survived,
the friends like Cas and Jhering.
And the young people who speak up now.
Those who aren't ruined
by Gring's kitsch theatre.
And Neher will come
from Zurich for Puntila.
And Lutz from Basel also
promised me to come.
Dear audience, the fight is tough,
but the present is already coming up.
She's so young.
I'll have to take care of her.
Of everything!
Nothing is there.
- Yes! Yes! Yes!
Berlau is in front of the door.
Her suitcase ended up in our luggage.
Please don't raise her hopes again.
She's supposed to live here and work
in the ensemble. I promised that.
In America she thought you'd marry her.
You know what I mean.
Your suitcase.
- Brecht is here!
Brecht is exhausted,
he needs to rest.
I'll work with him.
Yes, you can take pictures for us.
- And document the plays for the model books.
You can't even typewrite
a text without mistakes.
And you, Helli, wanted to
typewrite in Denmark yourself.
Just because of
Grete Steffin and Brecht.
You had such arms back then.
Everything was bandaged.
And I was promised
the direction as well.
We're back in Germany,
not in Denmark anymore.
You were strangers
in Skovbostrand back then. In exile.
I was useful for you then.
Because of the theatre, visas,
the car and the special food for Brecht.
You had the money.
I left my husband Dr. Lund, for Brecht.
Brecht gave me this ring.
On the way.
Sweden, Finland and America.
I was always supposed to stay with him.
Helli, Brecht loves me.
And I'm his wife.
- Ruth, be reasonable.
Brecht is always about reasonability!
You promised we'd live together.
You'll keep working at the theatre.
- With you!
We're in socialist Germany now, Ruth!
We're working on rebuilding a new society.
And when will our life start?
Come, I'll drive you home!
You wrote to your parents: As we drove from the zoo
to Friedrichstreet, I thought I'd have to throw up.
You couldn't imagine.
Whole house facades
have nothing behind them.
Gigantic bunkers stand up
like sinking ships.
It didn't make me back off at all.
No, I accepted everything.
The worst could have happened
and I still would have said:
Rather the worst and work at the
theatre than live at home in peace.
Brecht works on Tutor from
Lenz with his new Berlin ensemble.
A play from 1774.
Regine Lutz plays Gustchen.
I think God created me.
- With all creatures.
Regine, upgrade the flirting
with the tutor a little more.
The noble girl doesn't care
about religion class.
She's a bitch, she plays with him.
That's the other side of simple Gustchen.
She loves playing with fire.
And the tutor can't fight back.
Brecht got his old friend Caspar Neher
for the scenery and co-direction.
- Yes?
As a tutor you earn
60 Thalers per year.
So I'm poor.
- No, you're a coward!
One could think it's your character,
but it's society that makes you a coward.
Monk, show him where he
stands on the social ladder.
Lessing as the librarian
earns 600 Thalers per year.
The solo dancer of
Dresden's opera: 6000 Thalers.
A chef: 10 Thalers.
- And a herdswoman?
A herdswoman earns
one Thaler per year.
And the king's whore?
Now, let's get to it!
The lover of August the Strong:
100,000 Thalers per year.
Look, Gaugler.
That shapes your character! That's why
you bend the back for sovereignty.
But you bare your teeth
at the same time.
Yes, the obedient servant.
Obedient servant.
The devil shall get you!
The devil shall get you!
The French beheaded their king.
The Germans bent down.
No revolution.
The tutor would castrate himself
to keep his job.
We dig that up.
We want to change that.
Regine, the seduction
once more, please!
I think God created me.
Yes, that's right!
And then I go back?
You'll flee!
The power relation changes.
The student examines her teacher.
I think God created me.
If only he hadn't.
- With all creatures.
My flesh...
- My flesh and my soul.
Also your flesh?
- Eyes, ears and all limbs.
Reason and all senses
were given to me.
What else?
- He keeps them healthy.
Gives clothes and shoes, food and drinks, house
and farm, wife and child, fields, cattle and all goods.
Now she's making fun of him!
She's a student.
- She's a woman. And you...
You've had a filled seminal
gland for weeks and months.
Don't forget that. The flesh,
prohibited lust comes up in you!
A sexual life isn't designated
for you in this world, you see?
But it's there!
You bitch!
I never had the ambition
to make love with Brecht.
No, he smelled far too rough and bad.
You fight what's coming up in you.
The dilemma of a poor devil who has to
decide between sex life and professional life.
Yes, that can't be
claimed from us anymore.
He was a shy, quiet lover...
I wore my hair like that.
He slowly stroke over my hair.
But he always did it
bodiless, as I call it.
It was always bodiless.
So tenderly.
So carefully.
Lutz was a revelation
for me back then.
When she lay in bed with the actor.
The picture still is in my head.
And the success was incredible.
I looked into the letters.
We had 54 curtains and
the one made of iron.
It's hard to imagine, but German
theatres really freaked out back then.
I was a new teacher for math and I
wrote his concluding verse on the wall:
Teachers and students of a new time, consider your
servant bliss, so you can free yourselves from it.
Back then in Skovsbostrand
you showed me the stars.
There was Kassiopeia as well.
Look, our eyes meet up there,
wherever we are.
That's what you said.
Then you kissed me.
Your eyes smiled.
Jeg elsker dig.
I love you.
And that won't change
in ten or twenty years.
Now you don't see me anymore.
My lap becomes cold from down there.
So cold!
It gets up into my head.
So cold!
Dear professor!
I didn't want to kill myself.
I drank strong vodka and played Ophelia, so
Brecht would finally spend a night with me.
He had promised it for so long.
It was terrible. He sometimes
went to Ruth to eat.
He always renewed her hopes.
He couldn't break up.
And of course there
was a lively erotic life.
Not only around Brecht, but overall.
There were many young people
with different genders that lived.
And one of Brecht's views, although
he only showed it with his presence...
was that living was always worth it.
And that also accounted for himself.
Of course the ensemble knew that
he wasn't just a poet, but also a man.
Maybe he also knew that being
close to him made productive.
Even the women played differently.
Beautiful Miss, may I dare to ask
whether I can take you home?
I'm neither Miss nor beautiful.
I can go home without you.
That's a beautiful child.
She lit a fire inside me.
She's virtuous, yet snippy.
Tell him!
When you suddenly walk to Gretchen, she can
do a little movement, a flight somewhere!
Listen, Pohl! Students of the
master class have to show up on time.
Also the lyricists.
It's the money of the working class.
Rlicke was the girl for everything.
But very likeable.
He had a short affair with her,
but he shared her with Palitzsch.
Faust can't talk to the Miss.
- He's a bit shy.
No, a bit horny.
I see.
Can I already show him that I like him?
That way I'd have a
better connection to the next...
When the sentence...
I'm neither Miss nor beautiful.
Then you walk a few steps.
He had such a weird way of walking.
He tripped differently
than any girl would do.
But he tripped in his brown suit
with his hat pointing forward.
Then you stop!
And you look back.
Then he turned around jerkily.
Something happened, you understand?
You can feel it.
It's an encounter that
will change your life.
It wasn't the proletarian with Reichel.
It wasn't something he wanted
for Gretchen, but for himself.
He wanted it for his bed.
A king was in Thule.
He had a golden cup.
His paramour got it on her deathbed.
He preferred the cup.
Finished it at every meal.
His eyes got bigger and bigger...
every time he drank from it.
It's that simple.
That's nice, Kthe.
My name is Waltraut.
A star needs the right name.
A star?
- Yes. You can do it!
You have to take care of Gna.
He drinks too much.
He boozes.
Soon he'll show up drunk at the show.
He's ill.
There are pills.
All of them have injuries from the war.
Who is healthy?
We also have to have an
eye on your young people.
The evening direction
wasn't staffed. Again!
Pohl should have been there.
He also misses the rehearsals lately.
Tell Rlicke.
Where is the girl anyway?
Nothing is done in the kitchen.
She didn't even do the dishes.
I sent her home.
I see!
So the doll visited you.
We rehearsed.
She had no good education.
- So you take care of that personally?
She was evicted twice
with her parents.
Their furniture ended up on the streets.
She dreams about it at night.
We were evicted as well.
From Germany, Denmark,
Finland, Sweden and America.
Waltraut might not know that.
Not even I want to dream about it.
Look, Helli!
As you talk about it, Waltraut
isn't a good name for an actress.
Waltraut Reichelt.
That's the child's name.
- Kthe! Kthe Reichel sounds better
Well, child?
What do you think?
That there were several women who
he lived with and who he loved...
was a naturalness that wasn't
thought about for a long time.
The world is beautiful
because we're young.
Because we go
forward full of trust.
May has come!
Trees leash out!
The direction pulled a bad joke.
It went so far that drunk students sang:
"May has come" in Auerbach's cellar
in the night before the 1st of May.
Such a parody of the German folk song
hadn't been heard on a stage before.
It was the end of the world.
A catastrophe.
Monk should...
The young Monk was too young
to know what he did to May Day.
No! That Faust!
A Prometheus who wants to
steal the fire from the Gods?
But not a bit. He's a weedy professor,
a helpless would-be, a psychopath.
That shall be Goethe's first draft of Faust?
Arbitrariness in the texts.
Disfigurement by alleged ideas.
Disfigurement of the characters.
That means no more than that the work was
ripped off its humanistic content and meaning.
One has to ask the question: Isn't it time
to check what the Berlin Ensemble is doing?
So, Monk? Do you want
to change the direction?
I don't see a reason.
Well, things will stay as they are.
Come on, that's from the very top!
Think about it!
Is that worth it?
It looks like some people up
there understood what we did.
Faust wasn't a humanist.
A bad teacher who wanted Gretchen in his bed.
That's how it was meant.
But remember that they pay the theatre.
The workers pay us!
- I share that opinion.
What is it?
I was in Pohl's flat.
He's disappeared.
The landlady doesn't want
to say anything about it.
He might have been picked up.
I became the victim of a provocateur.
He reported me for allegedly...
working for the
American secret service.
Out of nowhere I was arrested.
I didn't know why.
When I imagine my father here...
He was a small, helpless man.
He was only a little taller than I am.
He was a nervous wreck.
I can imagine that not much was
needed to make him go crazy.
The questionings were
from 6 AM to 10 PM.
During that time one
wasn't allowed to sleep.
They came at half past ten and it
kept going until five in the morning.
For 14 days.
It made me break down.
I said: Write whatever
you want, I'll sign it.
How did you decide?
Will you stage the
new play "Katzgraben"?
I can't.
The place Katzgraben...
The problems in the
agricultural cooperative...
The dispossession!
The socialisation of land
is a revolutionary act, Monk.
The play doesn't
show the real GDR.
What do you think it shows?
The new agricultural cooperative
happily sits on the tractor.
Socialists have to ask
what really is in the GDR...
before they say how it should be.
I learned that from you.
- I know.
But we have nothing better.
It must have been a lucky coincidence.
It was about more than student and master.
There was a great affection.
I wanted to get out of the GDR where
I was told what to read and what to say.
It became obvious that the ensemble wouldn't
remain the island it was in the first year.
- No! No! No!
Why no?
- You mustn't cry!
Leave your tears at home.
They don't belong on the stage.
They don't belong here?
And the mother who's just lost her son?
- She starts thinking.
Now she decides to fight fascism.
That's what you're supposed to show.
With sadness?
- No!
She mustn't pity herself!
Your feelings are private.
It's really unprofessional.
Show how Carrar is
shaken with every hit!
And in the end she becomes alive.
She gives the comrades
the hidden weapons.
Get the guns out!
Prepare, Jos!
The bread is ready.
Weigel was an actress
who cried quickly.
Brecht didn't like that.
He was really rough so she made
me come to her and cried heavily.
And I said:
I'm 22, I can't help you.
She treated it with a stoicism that she showed off,
which according to my opinion suppressed a lot.
Helene Weigel leaves
the mansion at Weissensee.
She moves into her own
flat near the theatre.
About Weigel one can only say
that she's...
one of the most interesting and
keen characters I ever got to know.
Weigel made the
Berlin Ensemble what it was.
She made Brecht.
Because she did all the organisational
work for Brecht.
She was a genius head for the theatre.
She also did the social tasks.
She did the ladies' hair.
She took care of the flats.
She also helped with rehearsals.
She enabled Brecht to live.
She was the mother of the whole thing.
She really was.
She did all the annoying stuff.
She got everything out of Brecht's way.
She was the basis
of the whole theatre.
Without Weigel, the Berlin Ensemble
probably would have failed.
Where are you?
Here in Weissensee.
Great and lonely.
Since you moved out.
If you couldn't stand it any longer...
It's not just the other women.
If you question me as an actress...
I asked myself that
question quite often.
How is that possible?
I explain it the way
that she always said it:
She had always been
convinced of Brecht's genius.
She was convinced
that he's a special person.
That he had to be promoted.
Hill got it for me from a painter
who went to West Germany.
Were you too lonely in Weissensee?
I wanted to get closer to the theatre.
I'm here because of the theatre.
Imagine this: The People's Police
takes over the Schiffbauerdamm.
Determined by the Socialist Party.
I just got it from Elfriede's office.
They didn't want to tell you.
- That's mad!
Operas and other patriotic tasks.
That's what the party wants.
That's a disgrace. We're working on the most
progressive theatre in the world and they don't get it.
What else shall I do?
Against a decision of the party?
They decided it, they can change it.
Some up there don't like us.
- A guest in the German Theatre is unacceptable.
If I don't get my
own theatre, I'll leave.
And I?
To the minister president
Otto Grotewohl.
You might have heard that there are
nonsensical rumours in West Germany....
that the government of
the GDR and I are in dispute.
The takeover of the Schiffbauerdamm by
the Berlin Ensemble, which is known...
far beyond Germany, would document
my connection with our republic.
This is RIAS Berlin.
A free voice in the free world.
This afternoon a delegation of
demonstrators appeared at RIAS.
They reported what happened and explained
that they wouldn't have showed up if they...
had received what they wanted after the
discussion with Ulbricht or Grotewohl.
As they weren't capable to show
the will of the workers directly...
they chose the way to RIAS.
That way they wanted
to make their claims heard.
Kthe, turn on the radio!
Something is being prepared.
The builders of Stalin avenue
demand their claims via radio.
Lower the life costs!
No, on RIAS. Listen!
- Free and secret elections!
Free and secret elections?
Those are the claims of West Germany.
No regulation of strikes and...
- Yes. The old mask of capitalism.
The demonstration is coming!
Where do you work?
- Henning village. Everything's here.
When does work start in the morning?
- 6:10 AM.
What gave you the initiation?
Did you decide this morning or yesterday?
This morning.
Did you stop working right away?
Did anyone stay there?
Right away!
Nobody stayed.
No messages.
That's nonsense!
Why do we send this shit
instead of information?
One should tell them!
- I could drive to the station.
Tell them that we could help
them with the programme.
5000 demonstrators cheer.
Around the Columbia House
they occupy the HO.
What happened up there.
- Up there they surrendered right away.
They threw away the weapons
and surrendered.
A good chance to show
that you're one of them.
This might be a good moment
to join the party.
For you?
The working class party
needs discipline.
Yes, but it also has to be able to learn.
The party is ready. That's what Ulbricht said in
his speech at the Friedrichstadt-Palast yesterday.
Now the ND says this:
Walter Ulbricht explained that it's most
important for the party to connect with the masses.
And to listen to the workers' complaints.
Elisabeth Hauptmann had been
working for Brecht since 1949 again.
He then tasked Elisabeth Hauptmann
and myself to drive to the station.
I made the head show up.
He said: Those are the usual stomach
aches of an intellectual like Brecht.
There's no reason to worry.
It's normal. We won't change
the broadcast programme.
And gentle Elisabeth Hauptmann screamed:
You're stupid! The situation
is dangerous. It's on the rocks.
The existence of this
country with all its benefits.
History will pay the revolutionary impatience of
the Socialist Unity Party of Germany its respect.
The great talk with the masses
about the speed of socialism...
becomes a sight and a protection
of the socialist achievements.
Brecht wants the regime
to talk to the masses.
The party shall learn from them.
But the party newspaper
will only publish its results.
I have to tell you how connected I feel
to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
Your Bert Brecht.
Brecht won't protest publicly
against the shortening.
We can see the tanks now.
- Stop shooting!
From 1 PM on the Soviet sector of Berlin
will be in a state of emergency.
Give me the personal
secretary of Comrade Grotewohl.
What is this about?
I have to give you
suggestions and letters by Brecht.
Yes, come right to the
station with the car.
We didn't get through with the car.
Who am I talking to?
- Kilian. Isot Kilian.
Harich's wife.
- Professor Wolfgang Harich's wife. Got that?
See you.
See you.
Very good.
The world is looking at Berlin.
For the first time since the GDR was found,
10,000 East Berliners protested...
in a spontaneous demonstration
against the regime's tyranny.
The unrest was started by
provocateurs and fascist agents...
of foreigners and helpers of
German capitalist monopoles.
The guilty will be made
responsible and harshly punished.
The workers and all
honest citizens are asked...
to catch the provocateurs
and hand them to the officials.
It's a shame how Brecht bowed
to the terror regime.
That proves the devotion to the
director of the socialist party.
It's time for the West German stages to
question the dramas and plays of Brecht.
Whether they want to support a partisan of
tyranny and give him a place to have his word.
On West German stages, a boycott
against Brecht's plays started.
I don't deny that there were
agents in the country.
But talking about provocateurs
makes it a little easy.
The stagehands earn a minimum wage.
They can't buy anything
at the HO stores.
They do terribly.
The workers get to work
with a jam sandwich.
They told the unions.
They were put off again and again.
Nothing happened.
Those who had high wages,
had special stores.
And another social class in between.
The HO stores were for the people.
A certain hatred arose.
Party and governance
only drive car.
Their wives don't queue up.
If someone with a badge talks to you,
you don't say your real opinion.
That's true.
That was different at ours.
That was a discussion that
didn't come up at ours.
That way one can see
the quality of that ensemble.
The fact that they approve
of something like that.
A different government...
free elections...
those are actual demands
by the population.
Nobody believes this
government anymore.
But the strikers came angrily and screamed:
We want free elections and...
One question:
Do you know what such an
election would lead to?
Here and now?
Who knows?
This demand for free elections...
would, in my opinion,
not make sense for us.
He didn't want a civil democracy?
- No!
Brecht wanted the
dictatorship of the proletariat.
I don't think...
the population is
far enough from narcism.
The government we have now is fighting all the
elements that threaten the peace in the world.
Head of discussion, Erwin Geschonneck,
ends the meeting with a warning:
Always remember that a new
government leads to a new world war.
Dear God!
Yes. Yes.
And where did that end?
We are the people.
Maybe the 17th of June was...
- The first great tear in the ideology. I think.
In 1956, Hungary's people revolt...
Then I said: I have to leave now.
I can't stand this any longer.
After the riot on the 17th of June, the secretary
of the writers' guild had flyers distributed.
They said that the people had lost
the trust of the government.
Wouldn't it be easier if the government
abandoned the people and elected a new one?
There was no actual department for state security
service that had been appointed to an artist before.
The party normally did that
with its comrades.
It's the job of art to support
establishing socialism.
But it won't help you if a movie or play
just has more farmers and workers.
The problems and contradictions in our society
have to be shown to find the right solutions.
Conflicts can be shown.
But the solutions should
always be optimistic.
Girnus was like Ulbricht.
A proletarian pighead. He taught himself a
lot and was convinced that those were facts.
Only the worst traditions!
Although we, in the GDR, are the real heirs
of the humanistic tradition in German history.
Luther, Lessing and Goethe.
Our classics.
Marx, Engels...
- Pieck and Ulbricht!
Excuse me?
- Pieck and Ulbricht do their work.
Let me do mine.
And for that I need my own theatre.
I can't stay an eternal guest
and lodger at the German Theatre.
How do you want to win our working people
with your consciously poor theatre?
And that in your people's
unfriendly language?
I'll win them.
I trust in people.
And their enthusiasm to think.
Dear Comrade Walter Ulbricht!
Besides the wrong conception
of Brecht in the case...
I'd suggest a more flexible
treatment of the whole case.
For that reason I'd suggest to give the
Berlin Ensemble and Brecht their own theatre.
I also expect an educational effect
from that move.
He'll have to prove that he can win over
the audience, especially the workers.
He can't do that with the current means.
So he shouldn't be given a
little hut, but a proper theatre.
That way he can't excuse his primitivism
and puritanism with a lack of technology.
He suggests to give Brecht the
theatre at the Schiffbauerdamm.
His idea is to give it to him
so that he'll die out with it.
The creator of our plans.
The man with a sharp eye and quick decision.
His name is Comrade Walter Ulbricht.
Isot, I have a question.
Is there anything about me
that you don't like?
Anything that disturbs you?
When I'm screamed at.
Really uncontrolled and terribly.
That happens at the theatre.
There can be many reasons for
someone not doing something.
That's true.
What else?
- Your unpredictability.
- Your feelings!
Sometimes peaceful like now and
then you're quick-tempered and loud.
Now you're like this,
then you're like that.
You have no idea what the
people in the theatre say.
Brecht is above the law.
Where are we now?
You know that I have a
little house by the lake.
Unfortunately I have no time.
Do you want to set me out now?
- Isot, I'll never set you out.
And I'll never scream at you again.
You promise?
People can change.
- Can Brecht?
Are you mad?
You want to quit?
It's because of the 17th of June
and your letter to the government.
My father says those who still stand
behind you and your morale...
What do you know about my morale?
You want to leave?
You can't even stand on your own feet.
Let me tell you this:
You'll fail at every theatre.
And he was right.
I wasn't done.
- You don't know how to play theatre.
You have nothing. Nothing.
You're non-independent.
You can only win recognition
if everything's specially tailored for you.
He was angry that I didn't
start a relationship with him.
That was the reason.
But now I wanted it even less.
What's wrong with your sweetheart?
She wanted to quit.
How did you decide that day
after you were screamed at?
Of course I stayed there.
Look at this!
We made it.
Now you have your theatre.
- The Schiffbauerdamm.
Now you'll be the senior director.
The lady director finally has her own house.
Thanks, Helli!
It has the right size
and is at the right place.
And the right history.
Now the dare has been decided
and it's time to start the fun.
We stay seated in the meadow, Michel.
Until Grusche gets us a can of milk.
Could I have a can of milk,
grandpa? Or some corn bread?
Milk? We have no milk.
- Why is the farmer so dismissive?
Why does he want to sell
the milk for a higher price?
If the farmer still had all his goats,
he'd have milk as well.
He could be more generous then.
If we show it like that, the spectators have
a different view on the people on stage.
The spectators can change
if the relation changes.
People talk about characters that always come
up like a grease spot in the pants. Nonsense!
Michel, did you hear that?
Three Piastres.
We can't afford that.
Ten years ago:
1944, New York, 57th street.
In Ruth Berlau's apartment.
Joint work at the Caucasian Chalk Circle.
A maid is on the run.
She saves her child.
It's the governor's child.
- She loves the child from the very beginning.
But why does she love it?
Yes, you're right.
Something is lacking.
If she engages to the soldier before
the flight, she wants his child.
But he isn't there.
In that case she takes the foundling.
So little Michel is
a child of love as well.
That's good.
That's right.
We have to try this again then.
I didn't even steal it like Grusche.
Our Michel.
Don't talk so much about it.
Not everyone in Santa Monica has to
know that you'll have Brecht's child.
I can't be your ghost.
The whore of a classic.
- Ruth, be reasonable.
I can't be as reasonable as you.
We work and love each other.
That keeps us together.
For the upcoming socialism.
I know it will come.
Will we stay together?
- Forever?
Remember the three Piastres.
There's nothing in there but you think
you're drinking and that's something.
But feel this! You say it's a muscle but
why does it hurt so much sometimes?
Brecht's family lives in Los Angeles.
Ruth Berlau's apartment is the
little New York office for him.
Ruth makes phone calls for him
and negotiates for him.
She takes pictures of Brecht's texts and starts
a kind of microfilm archive of his manuscripts.
Brecht was scared that a war or a
flight would destroy his creation.
As a judge I'm obliged to pick
a mother for the child.
I'll make a test.
Take a piece of chalk and
draw a circle on the ground.
It takes too long.
Put the child in there.
Plaintiff and defendant,
stand next to the circle.
Grab the child's hands.
The right mother will have the power
to pull the child out of the circle.
Santa Monica 1944.
The house of Brecht's family.
After Ruth Berlau's surgery on the uterus
in Los Angeles, she has a premature birth.
The child died.
Ruth Berlau then lived in Santa
Monica with Brecht for a while.
A little further away from the family's house.
Then he arranged her journey
back to New York.
So that you can become more
independent in New York.
Independent from me.
And that you'll find back to writing.
It's a chance for you.
Don't worry about other women.
Come back as soon as you can.
I love you.
I thought he wanted to get rid of me.
And I wanted to be reasonable.
But then I found this letter that he
put in my pocket at the train station.
I want to become just as
you want me to be.
- In New York, she collapses under the pressure.
Ruth is sent into psychiatry.
The court has now found out
who the real mother is.
Come, I'll take you home.
- Leave me alone!
Don't touch me!
The third thing!
Now it's too late.
Now you're looking for fresh meat.
Another real hug!
More action!
Come on!
I'm fine, Helli.
Brecht and I...
Yes, we were closer together in May 1954.
It just happened.
And then he said I should decide how close we
want to be and whether I want to come to him.
He was too much of a coward
to look at one directly.
He looked a bit past one.
It wasn't a yes or a no.
He let the other person decide.
Here I am.
I'm glad you've come.
We've waited
for a long time.
It was that soft voice.
- And now?
When he said Regine with
that "R", he had a lot of charm.
And one day he said:
You're a nice girl.
And I thought that danger was coming.
He expected me to dedicate myself.
Not Isot or Isotchen anymore?
No! Ise!
And Helli?
She's reasonable.
She'll understand. Don't worry.
In the meantime Helene Weigel
had moved into Chausseestreet.
Into the flat above Brecht.
There are those women stories
that partly are unbearable for me.
With those stupid women...
I never understood why he did it.
To me, some of these
women were unexplainable.
You know, when I say something
about my relationship with Brecht...
and don't mention that,
it's like concealing.
Of course it was important.
But it wasn't that important.
It's not easy to talk
about stuff like that.
And not talk about the other women.
Of course that...
It was a great love relationship.
All of that hurt a lot.
It wasn't easy.
Not a bit.
Summer 1954.
The Berlin Ensemble in Paris.
An invitation to the international theatre
festival in the Thtre Sarah Bernhardt.
At the same time it's a visit
to the city of culture.
A special flair is over the city.
The business with the nice dresses,
the booksellers at the Seine...
the painters at the Montmartre,
the bistros and the Louvre.
Brecht came from
Berlin in his car.
We're looking forward to the reunion.
Isot Kilian is there as well.
Gerda Goedhart farewells her
girlfriend Angelika to the show.
But you that huvny died as yet
the powers that be, they still do need.
Courage thinks war is
necessary for her life.
But what happens in front of us,
happens outside of us.
At the same moment that distance is given,
we see, we know that war isn't fateful.
That's the great contribution by Brecht.
His theatre doesn't preach and
is therefore more powerful.
The Berlin Ensemble wins
the first prize of the festival.
At home they get better press and
more value as a flagship of the GDR.
In the sport hall at the Stalin avenue!
Children celebrate from all sectors of Berlin
with the Free Federation of German Trade Unions.
After the act of mercy in 1954, Brecht's master
student, Martin Pohl, is set free after two years.
I had Weigel on the phone
and she said: Pohl! You're back?
That's nice!
As if I had come from hospital.
Come to us!
We have our final rehearsal today.
You'll meet Brecht.
It was as if I was a part
of the crew again.
But that wasn't the case.
Thanks for the letters.
And thanks to the attorney.
That way I felt as if
I still was a part.
That I hadn't disappeared entirely.
It protected me.
It's nice that you're back.
Enjoy it.
Thanks, Helli.
- Thanks.
Pohl, tell me exactly what happened.
I signed not to talk about the case.
Tell me anyway.
I want to know.
The questionings at night...
The sleep deprivation at day...
I broke down.
I told the interrogator:
Write down what you want, I'll sign.
So you were charged for a lie?
You admitted something
you hadn't done?
But everyone knew.
I'll call the judicial authority now.
The Director of Public Prosecutions.
He'll rehabilitate you.
Dear God!
Don't do that.
Otherwise I'll be in
prison again tomorrow.
You have to forget, Pohl.
Read the ballad that Oscar Wilde wrote on the
jail in Reading where he was in for homosexuality.
And write your ballad.
His punishment by the court was
a writing prohibition for five years.
To employ him for that time, the writers' guild
suggested to send Pohl into an asylum for teenagers.
I got indirect tasks as an informer.
That was enough!
Then I left.
Yes, Anna Seghers.
What are you doing in Moscow?
Is that official?
Of course.
See you.
Now you'll get the Stalin prize.
Our enemies will be quiet for now.
Aren't there like 100,000
Rubles prize money?
Half of it to Switzerland.
- Just in case.
Rlicke will come to Moscow.
She can interpret.
And Isotchen?
- She'll stay here.
But you'll come along, right?
I'll put it on your jacket myself.
Nikolai Tichonow
hands over to Bertolt Brecht.
The peoples that fought
for a socialist economy...
have a great position
when it comes to peace.
The impulses of the
people become peaceful.
The fight: everyone against everyone
becomes everyone for everyone.
When you help society, you help yourself.
When you help yourself, you help society.
The useful have a good time,
not the harmful anymore.
That's the secret speech of
Chruschtschow on the 20th party congress.
A Polish officer gave it
to me confidentially.
Stalin walked the path of terror.
Executions without
verdicts and investigations.
That caused insecurity,
fear and even desperation.
Breaking out of barbarity
can have barbaric traits.
He died three years ago.
Who did we bury?
The farewell from the
biggest genius of our epoch.
Josef Wissarionowitsch Stalin.
It was shown that many party members that
were regarded as enemies in 1937 and 1938...
had never been enemies, spies,
wreckers or anything similar.
Indeed they were always...
honest communists.
But they were denigrated and
sometimes the barbaric torture...
Does it say torture?
So it's true.
Sometimes the barbaric torture
was too much for them...
and they accused themselves
of serious and improbable crimes.
During the cleansing, the comrades were shot after
the torture and the verdicts were drawn up later.
No! Kthe, those who want
to keep it a secret are right.
This mustn't be published.
Not yet.
Talked to them with gun and whip:
Every day of the week.
Every weekday.
The merited murderer of the people.
When I saw the flash in the newsreel, I changed
the Galilei immediately with Charles Laughton.
Ruth then filmed our
Galilei in Los Angeles in 1947.
The early morning, the
nice hour, how he enjoys it.
The first look into the books.
The first lesson.
Thinking is a physical lust.
The morning of a new century.
Everything starts with the lust in knowledge.
But what will happen to that knowledge?
Will it be used or misused?
The original sin of science and
the final product was the nuke.
That was...
a clear wound in
the play in California.
That still mattered a lot for our
thinking in Berlin ten years later.
That was the situation during the cold war.
In the Paris' arrangement,
the literary Bertolt Brecht said...
that a third world war would
turn Germany uninhabitable.
The second phase of the rearmament
of the federal republic has begun.
About 2000 volunteers went
to the training camps.
The old friend Caspar Neher is on his way to
Bertolt Brecht in the Soviet sector of Berlin.
Since the early 1950s, since the
cold war had heated up, Brecht...
and his scene builder hadn't
worked together anymore.
Don't tell Brecht that I called.
You know that he doesn't like that.
He's pretty sick.
It's like the flu, but it doesn't stop.
The fever comes and goes.
But he's in treatment, right?
Those from the Charit and Dr. Mertens
from West Germany appease.
And he doesn't want
anyone to realise.
He rehearses and rehearses.
He wears himself out during
the meetings of the academy.
And his heart?
Very shaky, he says.
He gets Digitalis as an aid.
Galilei lets his assistant look
through the new field glass.
Shouldn't he look himself?
- No!
What does he see? The sun
shines onto earth and moon.
The earth throws its shadow
onto the moon. He knows that.
Just look forward and enjoy your victory.
What you see is that there's no
difference between heaven and earth.
What you see is that there's no
difference between heaven and earth.
He was in a cinema with Isot recently.
He almost had to leave.
An attack?
- He suddenly couldn't breathe anymore.
What happens to knowledge?
A new worldview could lead to a new society.
Without a pope or an emperor.
It all depends on the bravery of Galilei.
Whether he wants to give the liberating
knowledge to the force or to the people.
Humanity writes in its journal:
Heaven has been abolished.
Listen, Kamper!
Get up!
You're horrified by the consequences.
Turn forward and stay stiff!
Where is God in your world system?
- In us or nowhere?
In us or nowhere.
As the burned said.
- As the burned said.
Make sure that Brecht can calm down.
You shall return for the scenery.
- What?
For the BE?
Permanently in the GDR?
Just for Galilei.
Sagredo, I believe in humans.
Busch! Busch!
- That means I believe in sanity.
You know that others were already
burned as heretics for this truth.
But now you have evidence.
And talk soberly.
That makes it appeal better.
Sagredo, I believe in humans.
That means I believe in sanity.
Without that belief, I wouldn't have the
power to get out of bed in the morning.
Cas, it's serious.
He needs you.
You've had a name
for a long time.
You could have worked in
the east or the west.
A prosecutor in West Germany
gave it to me in writing:
Working for Brecht is a political issue.
An acknowledgment for the other side.
Working for me is a political issue?
An acknowledgment for the other side?
- For the other side of the iron curtain.
That's how they see it.
That's an insolence by that man.
Out of the question!
That boldness! A disgrace.
- You know that!
In this country, every text, every line
is checked by the party. Even yours.
Even the paper for printing is
only assigned after the censorship.
We're fighting that stupidity.
And a lot has become better.
- It's true.
We aren't what they want, but they don't
want to lose what they have with us.
The way they stand on the yard,
he reconstructed that.
It's like the position of the
acting comrades on the stage...
at the parade on Red Square
or the Marx-Engels square.
Insightful for the fanciers.
Yes. And the audience of course
consisted of fanciers.
Under the surveillance
of the church's authority...
Galilei used the nights to write down
his Discorsi in secret. His scientific work.
It shows his student
the hiding place in the globe.
The inquisition!
It forced Galilei, by threatening
him with torture, to withdraw it.
He had to deny his new
worldview as a mistake.
You hid the truth from the enemy.
That changes everything.
- Explain that, Andrea.
So far he's been the traitor,
afraid of torture.
Now turn him into a hero.
We told the man on the street
he'd die, but never revoke.
You returned and said
you'd revoked, but will live.
We said their hands are stained, and you said
stained hands are better than empty ones.
Stained hands are better
than empty ones.
Sounds realistic.
Sounds like me.
That sounds familiar to you.
- It's astonishing.
The fact that it was only seen that late.
The identity of Brecht and Galilei.
Brecht walks, stands
and talks like Galilei.
Do you think Brecht knew that he said
something about his situation through Galilei?
"Knew" is a difficult word.
That concerns...
the difference between
science and art, right?
That's a different way of knowing.
He wrote it.
Can Galileo forgive his betrayal?
Stained hands are better
than empty ones.
Both apply.
The performance and the betrayal.
Galilei had to give his freeing
knowledge to the people.
You say that?
We ask questions.
Some say that Brecht knows
the answers beforehand as well.
Be careful with the answers.
We're acrobats.
We need ropes to dance on.
Otherwise they'll use it
to hang someone.
I found the question concerning
the conviction of Galilei....
Justification or conviction
remains unanswered.
It has to be passed on.
The theatre mustn't answer that.
It has to be re-answered again
and again in the audience
Yes, Cas.
Soon you'll stand down there.
But when that happens, you have to promise
me that you'll finish Galilei with Engel.
He's already at the rehearsals.
Do you believe that yourself?
You still have a lot to do.
But then!
At 60!
We'll retire.
Let the assistants work.
A house under the southern sky.
With a lot of time for our talks.
Like back in Augsburg.
When I die, die, die...
carriages carry me
and music is played!
Because I love, love, love that.
Sing and dance loud and shiningly.
Ladies of Vienna, Vienna,
Vienna will become really sad.
They'll stand around the bar.
He's gone, gone, gone.
The ghost was my soul.
Goodbye and farewell.
Attention! Attention!
One, two, three!
Do everything he says.
Don't make him angry.
Do everything he says.
He already wasn't well anymore.
He couldn't scream up to the stage anymore.
I won't be in London.
That's why all of us have
to work a little faster.
Otherwise they'll get bored in England.
Not all of them talk German.
That sounds like a voice from the grave.
But they'll be able to follow the plot
with the pictures and your gestures.
That was two days before he died.
He tried it until the day before the end.
Don't walk through the scene so homely.
Don't play pedestrians.
Let's watch that again.
But his last stage direction
was for the stand.
I was the fat woman in the
Chalk Circle. The quilted one.
Don't illustrate too much.
The old woman isn't sick.
She isn't stupid.
She's just fat.
I won't be able to stay for long today.
Have a good journey.
He gave me his hand.
- Thanks.
His hand was slack and pressureless.
I have to thank him for everything.
Everything I am, what I
became, is thanks to him.
He utilized many people for his
life and plans. But he also gave...
But he gave incredibly much back.
If you knew how to use it.
You were with him for many years.
You were a beloved actress for him.
Do you feel as if you knew him?
He knew me.
Very well.
And nobody could know him.
The doctor hit his cheek a little.
The last thing dad said was:
Leave me alone!
Then he was gone.
Good night, Isot.
Open after my death.
Helli shall arrange this:
First: Death shall be ensured.
I'll open the femoral artery now.
Second: The coffin shall
be made of steel or iron.
Third: The coffin won't
be exhibited openly.
Fourth: If it has to be exhibited, it
shall be done in the rehearsal house.
Fifth: No music shall be played.
- Now we're all alone in the world.
Only the name Brecht
shall be on the stone.
Thanks, Helli.
A week later there was this ad.
It was by a wine company from the
Rhineland "Threepenny droplet".
It had Brecht's death mask on it.
Weigel had all death masks collected and
destroyed in the theatre's court by a stagehand.
In the GDR, the systematic surveillance of the
political opposition and artists starts now.
Later it'll be the whole population.
Helene Weigel takes on Brecht's task to carry
on the Berlin Ensemble as he'd have wanted.
She saves Brecht's estate from the
GDR's Socialist Unity Party.
She protects his work
from forgers by the party.
So she, like many others,
helped Brecht become a classic.