The Germans and their men (Description of „Die Deutschen und ihre Männer” in English)

The Germans and Their Men

A film by Helke Sander
96 minutes, Color, 16mm, Video, 1989.
German with English subtitles
Star­ring: Renée Felden as Lies­chen Müller
Inter­views: Claudia von Alemann, Luise F.Pusch, Helke Sander
Director, Script: Helke Sander
Photo­graphy: Lilly Grote
Helke Sander Film­pro­duk­tion, Bremer Institut Film/  Fern­sehen, ZDF
First broad­cast: 15 August, 1989, ZDF 10.30 p.m.

If a woman doesn’t have equal rights, is she equally responsible for the crimes of a nation?“


The Germans And Their Men is a pene­tra­ting study of two parti­cular obses­sions: national iden­tity and mascul­inity. Probing the German male psyche with biting wit and clarity, the film opens with an inter­ro­ga­tion of men in the airport – and just why they are wearing ties?

Elisa­beth Müller is an Austrian in search of a husband. Vaca­tio­ning in Bonn, she combs the German capital and inter­views the „typical“ German man. Ever­yone from taxi drivers, school­boys and thea­ter­goers to civil servants, members of parlia­ment and the Federal Chan­cellor himself fall under the purview of our woman Müller. Combi­ning jour­na­listic tech­ni­ques with real and fictional charac­ters, this rich scenario provokes critical ques­tions around gender issues and sexual poli­tics in any discus­sion concerning the forma­tion of a contem­porary national German culture. Origi­nally produced for ZDF (a German TV station), the film offers popular senti­ments with start­ling insights, making provo­ca­tive connec­tions between femi­nism, fascism and the legacy of sexism in German history.

Still the best female helmer on the scene in Germany, Helke Sander takes her time between produc­tions to pour as much personal philo­so­phical reflec­tion into her film as possible.“ – Variety

A worthwhile film for those wanting a fix on Germany´s ruling male elite. Recom­mended.“ — Library Journal

Witty, critical, and some­times outra­geous“ — Afte­ri­mage

Some Festi­vals:

London Inter­na­tional Film-Festival

AFI Los Angeles Inter­na­tional Film Festival

Montreal Women´s Film Festival


Avail­able at: Women Make Movies N.Y. (http://​www​.WMM​.com)