Holocaust? Again? That’s the first reaction of the members of the youth theatre company at Schaubühne Berlin when they hear about their newest project. They shall play the children’s opera "Brundibár", famous for its being performed at the concentration camp in Theresienstadt. This is not a highly theoretical history lesson at school, and so they are thrown into the maelstrom of history when they travel to Theresienstadt to learn about the terrors of the Third Reich and the place where "Brundibár" played such a crucial role. The group is accompagnied by Greta Klingsberg, a charismatic old lady from Israel and one of the few survivors of the original cast of "Brundibár". She takes the youngsters on a trip back in time and slowly, they start questioning their lazy attitude towards German history.
When the young actors bow at the end of the premiere of their "Brundibár", Greta is sitting in the audience, deeply moved by the performance of her friends.
Douglas Wolfsperger about the film
For almost seventy years, National Socialism has been a part of our history and many people nowadays think that it should have an end with all the remembering and clearing up. Those who don't want to put the past behind are confronted with many questions: which forms shall the remembrance and the dealings with National Socialism take? How can we avoid a ritualised routine? How can we connect the past with the present and how can we create authentic feelings that haven't been worn off? In my eyes, the key to this lies in the lives of the young protagonists of my film "Brundibar Revisited". During the rehearsals of the children's opera at Schaubühne Berlin and the encounter with the charismatic Greta Klingsberg, they develop strong reactions, new insights and intense emotions. In this way, the make the worst chapter of German history a part of our present. Far away from conventional lessons, but with immense curiosity they deal with the subject - an ability that was not part of their upbringing, as they all already have, as young as they are, a past in which they had to experience violence, intolerance and abuse. But this multicultural ensemble takes the audience through its enthralling individual stories and experiences on an journey that envisions the past.
Interview by Torsten Hampel with director Douglas Wolfsperger [View PDF]