True Crime and Political Documentary On Heaven: The Life and Death of Petra Kelly

Updated on 09/29/2022 at 5:18 PM

  • It’s been 30 years since peace activist Petra Kelly and her partner, Gert Bastian, were found dead in their apartment in Bonn.
  • The circumstances of her death still raise questions.
  • On October 1, the well-watched “Petra Kelly – The Mysterious Death of a Peace Icon” documentary, which examines theories on the death of the green politician and at the same time portrays one of the most exciting figures in German post-war politics, will begin.

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On June 29 this year, Aminata Toure was sworn in as Minister of Social Affairs in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, making the green politician the youngest and first African-German minister in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

“Petra Kelly – The mysterious death of a peace icon,” says the 29-year-old politician in a new Sky documentary.

Although Tori was born a month after Petra Kelly’s death, the co-founder of the Greens has played an important role in her political career. Kelly was an egalitarian, campaigning for peace, human rights, feminism, environmental protection and against nuclear power, which gave her immense popularity in the 1980s.

The circumstances of Petra Kelly’s death remain a mystery

Despite these advantages, Kelly has fallen into oblivion, especially among the younger generation. The documentary, which is well worth watching and opens October 1 on Sky Crime and on-demand on WOW and Sky Q on the 30th anniversary of her death, is dedicated in detail to life and death, which is still quite vague. Today, he is one of the most exciting figures in German post-war politics and can be used to describe their work especially to bring him closer to young people.

The date of death on the 1st of October is only an estimate. Because Kelly and her partner Gehret Bastian, a former armored general in the Bundeswehr turned peace activist and Green Party politician, died in their apartment in Bonn for days, perhaps even weeks, before the bodies were discovered.

According to the official assumption, Bastian first killed Kelly while he was sleeping with a bullet to the head, and then killed himself, but this theory is not confirmed, and a farewell letter has not been found. It is unclear whether the extended suicide occurred with Kelly’s consent. There is even speculation about the murder and the involvement of third parties.

A mixture of true crime and political documentaries

The documentary Petra Kelly – The Mysterious Death of a Peace Icon traces these questions, making the mini-series a blend of true crime, a biographical and historical-politics documentary that takes a look at the sometimes brutal early days of the Greens in the German Bundestag.

More than 20 people were interviewed for the documentary, including former political associates such as Marillos Beck and Krista Nichols or former Green Party leader Lucas Beckmann, political opponents such as CSU politician Theo Weigl, friends such as musician Konstantin Wicker or representatives of current politics, such as Anton Hofreiter or Aminata Touré.

Exciting statements by Eva Marina and Till Bastian, daughter and son of Gert Bastian, who talk about their father’s relationship with Kelly, who is 24 years her junior. As in other recently released Sky documentaries, there is no narrator, interviews are lined up and backed by historical film material, some scenes are recreated at the current series production level.

Petra Kelly attracted as Greta Thunberg today

Marieluz Beck recalls that “Petra Kelly, who spoke at these demonstrations, was a very skinny little person, with infinite vitality, who had reached out to the people at the time.” Kelly has spoken at anti-nuclear demos in front of as many as 300,000 people, which is why the comparison to Greta Thunberg is telling in itself. Like the Swedish climate activist, Kelly appealed for her opinion and views.

The charismatic speaker was repeatedly threatened, and dead animals or a blood-stained bra were found in the mail. The nuclear and armaments lobby did not have a good relationship with her, and even Chinese intelligence was motivated to take action against Kelly because of her commitment to Tibet. The small far-right party EAP has repeatedly accused the Greens and Kelly of seeking an ecological dictatorship and has sparked outrage against the politician.

The documentary investigates various theories about the deaths of Kelly and Bastian

So it’s no surprise that the early and sudden death of Petra Kelly at the age of 44 has baffled many people to this day. The door to the apartment balcony was open, a half-finished letter from Bastian changed into the typewriter, and it seemed he had suddenly stopped writing. Were there active Stasi agents who attacked Kelly and Bastian? Or was Bastian simply afraid of losing his partner, who was 24 years his junior?

The documentary “Petra Kelly – The Mysterious Death of a Peace Icon” follows all of these theories. What makes the mini-series a compelling example of a true crime while simultaneously telling an unjustly forgotten political story and honoring its merits.


Many famous personalities have already been honored in the biography. Thanks to makeup, trained gestures, and great acting talent, copies of real models are often obtained that are almost identical to the original. Can you distinguish between the original and the copy?

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