Berliner Reigen / Director´s Statement:
The movie “Berliner Reigen” is a collaborative effort of students in acting and screenplay at the film academy HFF Babelsberg, Germany. The dramatic design is based on Arthur Schnitzler`s play “Reigen”, a chain of amorous liaisons in Viennese society at the turn of the century.
Inspired by Max Ophüls` film version of the play, the actors began inventing characters in contemporary Berlin who would fit the original concept. They improvised scenes. The screenplay students watched, commented, and continued developing the scenes. In the end, the director coordinated the various plots and added the frame – an outdoor skating arena.
The screenplay development took place in the summer of 2005. The movie was filmed at original locations in Berlin and Brandenburg during 25 days in winter 2005/06. The budget was only a total sum of 40 000 Euro, added to by an enormous portion of idealistic commitment.
The climax of the movie is an art showcase, which brings all characters together. Berlin photographer Joachim Gern (who also created the cover photo) kindly provided his photographs for this scene. Its filming took place in the “Palast der Republik” (former East Germany´s parliament building) literally a few days before the demolition began.