Writer and filmmaker Herbert Achternbusch has died

According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, the director, writer and avant-garde filmmaker died earlier this week. Because of his subversive sarcastic humor, he was considered “the legitimate successor of Karl Valentin”.

Achternbusch was born in Munich in 1938 as the illegitimate child of a dental technician and a sports teacher and grew up with his grandmother in Mietraching in the Bavarian Forest. He has been called Achternbusch since his birth father adopted him late in 1960.

He tried his hand at first as a painter and poet – and got by with odd jobs (including selling cigarettes at the Oktoberfest). In the mid-1960s, Achternbusch switched to writing on the advice of colleagues and friends. From 1964 he published a few small volumes of poems and etchings in loose succession; In 1969, through the mediation of Martin Walser, Suhrkamp Verlag published Achternbusch’s first volumes of stories.

According to Wikipedia, his debut novel “Die Alexanderschlacht” (1971) was seen as groundbreaking for the avant-garde of young German literature in the 1970s and 1980s. At the beginning of the 1970s, Achternbusch began making his first small films and came into contact with prominent representatives of German auteur films. He played roles in Werner Herzog’s film “Everyone for himself and God against all” and Volker Schlöndorff’s television film “Overnight in Tyrol” and in 1976 wrote the screenplay for Herzog’s film “Heart of Glass”. His first film as a director was 1974 “The Andechser Feeling”.

Scandal about “The Ghost”

In 1982 blasphemy allegations against his film “Das Gespenst” caused a scandal. The film shows how Jesus Christ rises from the cross in a Bavarian monastery to sleep with a young superior. The Voluntary Self-Control of the Film Industry (FSK) decided not to release the film because it was attacking the Catholic Church and creating “an only pessimistic and nihilistic basic pattern in the world that does not allow the viewer to process it rationally”.

Leave a Reply