It rarely makes sense for the media to talk to the AfD. You can see it in Alice Weidel’s smear theater in current ARD documents about the leaked chat of the faction he headed. He pretends not to know anything, only to say transparently about subversive statements: “Ultimately, this rhetoric should be avoided.”
But the AfD does not. On the contrary: it flourishes precisely through this discourse. You can see this in Andreas Welk’s feature-length documentary “People’s Representatives”. Interestingly, the film, like ARD’s documentary About Chats, takes its starting point on election night 2017. In the ARD documentary, Gauland’s marching orders (“we’ll chase them”) are called upon to threaten the music. On the other hand, Wilkie’s film is based on a sentence that is less warlike and cautionary than the discourse: “And please have no sayings that can fall on our feet later.” the party.
“Representatives of the People” is a documentary about exactly that – about the rhetoric of a party constantly preoccupied with self-denial and its right-wing goals. For two years, the film was watched by four AfD deputies – three West Germans and one man from Stralsund. It shows what people say of AfD when they are not speaking into television cameras or recording equipment.
[In sieben Berliner Kinos]
Norbert Kleinwachter is the best at showing self-denial. The Brandenburg representative from Augsburg is a literary scholar, started at WASG, speaking French and in early speech wanting to deal with Freud’s concept of the uncanny. However, he is soon disturbed by the victim’s speech to his staff, which, as a man of the AfD, is said to be on a par with witches, colonial peoples, and Jews. Later, before a World Cup soccer match for the German men’s team, Kleinwachter lists every player who, in his view, is not German (“Niklas Sule is a Hungarian on his father’s side”).
In this way, the carpet is rolled for the racist worldviews of a group of viewers, which Wilkie carefully records: when a player of Afro-German descent makes a mistake, someone happily shouts “Deportation.”
With her focus on language work, Volksebetter repeats and repeatedly makes the space between Alternative for Germany and reality visible. At a town meeting, for example, Kleinwachter wants to free himself from “identification” as a “Nazi” in the status of the great victim, when the racially minded questioner (“Where is the original value creation?”) interrupts the soulless show: “Of course we are Nazis.” “. The man was excitedly expelled from the hall.
A former ARD Hampel man in the position of Field Marshal
Gotze Froming, a member of parliament in Pankow who was born in Yuten, is also busy hiding his thinking. As the party’s media man, he has problems with Weidel’s speech showing a video presentation in which the leader of the “Your Battle” parliamentary group says: “It is better to remove the Nazi references.”
On such points, one can understand from Welk’s observation why the AfD needs its own terms in order to maintain its alternative world view. It is not only rhetorical maneuvering that is recognizable in “Representatives of the People”. On tours with employees, statements describing the party’s strategy are also made. This is how former ARD man Armin-Paulus Hampel, who prefers to appear as a field marshal, answers the employee’s question about whether he also wants to read suggestions from the Left and the Greens: “That’s completely unimportant. I’m focused on our real enemy” and that It’s CDU” as long as they don’t want to cooperate.
In these moments, Wilcke’s film is smarter and clearer than most public discussions. It also gets funny sometimes when Enrico Komming searches for a name for his team, which is supposed to get the support jerseys. “Kommando Komming” sounds too militaristic to a skilled employee, but gets his way when the boss asks him – also because he thinks the acronym “KoKo” is pretty cool.
[Mehr Neuigkeiten aus der queeren Welt gibt es im monatlichen Queerspiegel-Newsletter des Tagesspiegel – hier geht es zur Anmeldung.]
Documentaries about the AfD and their far-right friends are always faced with the dilemma of drawing attention to a phenomenon that is only for them.
“Representatives of the people” is considered one of the most successful works. Mastering the form is crucial: Andreas Welk compares the material without comment, only Alternative for Germany has an opinion here. This was already the case in Simon Bruckner’s note of “One German Party” shown at the Berlinale, the most elaborate and elegant film compared to “The People’s Representatives”. But also undecided. The money is narrower in the Wilkie, but the shape is more strict. And cutting helps not to dazzle. In the end, when the national anthem is sung, one cannot only admire Humble’s curvy demeanor. The song’s pathos interrupts the AfD on its own – with the pathetic singing skills of the Brandenburg forces around Kalpitz and Kleinwachter.