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The fascination for the far right is rampant in Europe


The German Christian Schwochow presents 'Je suis Karl', a drama about the possible triumph of a fascist party with great appeal among the youth. "From the German soul neither racism nor the Nazi ideal were erased," he says.

Maxi just turned 20 years old.

She lives in Berlin, with her little twin brothers and crazy, funny and socially conscientious parents.

One afternoon, in the portal, his father picks up a large package that an anonymous messenger leaves, takes it up to his apartment and returns to the car to collect the purchase.

Suddenly, the package explodes and the entire building explodes.

Maxi is saved because she had gone to a friend's house.

And after the funerals, emotionally misplaced, in constant shock with her father, she agrees to the invitation of a stranger who gets her out of a hurry: why not travel to Prague, to visit a concentration of young Europeans concerned with the fate of their continent and attend the inauguration of your academy?

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This is how

Je suis Karl



one of the screenings of the Berlinale Special section of the German festival, in which its director, Christian Schwochow (Bergen auf Rügen, 42 years old) —the director of

A German Lesson

(2019) and

The Other Side of the wall

(2013), director of two chapters of the series

The Crown,

a creator who likes to scratch on the dark side of German history— plays with the idea of ​​the advent of a youthful and powerful European fascist party, which engages people on social networks, with messages such as "the resurrection of Europe" or "who protects us?", for the false belief that violence only comes from the hand of immigrants.

Schwochow is forceful, nothing subtle: Maxi is attracted to these handsome young men, involved in a better future, although she does not know (yes the viewer from the beginning) that the one who put the bomb was that stranger, Karl, the leader of the movement, that He wants to use the girl as a victim who gets more followers.

From his kitchen in Berlin, in digital connection, the director has a half smile: “Everything is so strange.

In half an hour it's the world premiere of my film, obviously online, and here I am ”.

Immersed in the matter, the director explains that he had already done a lot of research on the new fascist parties, with a modern patina, for his miniseries

Mitten in Deutschland: NSU

(2016): “The funny thing is that these days in Germany we are having a great debate on the extreme right led by the Alternative for Germany [AfD] party ”.

Last week, the German secret services came to consider the AfD formally as suspected of going against the country's constitutional values, which has increased its vigilance on a formation that makes up the main opposition to the Government of Angela Merkel, and that occupies 88 seats (out of 709) in the German Parliament.

"I started with the story before it was founded, and now it receives 10% of the votes."

Schwochow is not surprised by the rise of AfD, a group similar to the one he poses on screen, baptized as Re / Generation: "They are no longer muscular neo-Nazis, but


who speak several languages, highly educated and seductive manners," he says.

And I thought: what if their leader was such a hypnotic guy like Barack Obama?

This is how Karl was born ”.

While I was constructing the script, those parties have grown ("in Spain you know that well, right?") And they have found that kind of figures, just as violence has increased.

"I started with a script that sounded like fiction, and today it is no longer so."

Schwochow filmed

Je suis Karl

in secret, "without press releases", knowing the danger of sabotage he was running.

“Emotionally it was very hard, because every day you put a palette of racist messages in front of the camera.

Well, in the end, I think journalism has a limit, and it is art that can save the world ”.

The most incredible thing about

Je suis Karl

is that it is very close to what is happening in Germany, with that modern, feminist image, with even a certain social conscience that the leaders of the extremist party transmit.

“AfD is led by Alice Weidel, who is paired with a film producer, an immigrant from Sri Lanka with whom she has adopted two children.

Weidel is against gay marriage and Merkel's immigration policy, he wants only German literature to be studied in schools.

How can he compartmentalize that when he goes with his girlfriend, how does he not short-circuit, how does his brain work? ”He wonders.

And about his country: “Don't be fooled, neither racism nor the Nazi ideal were ever erased from the German soul.

My grandmother, for example, never stopped being a racist after the end of World War II.

And if you deliver this nationalist idea on top of it in the form of a modern, feminist woman ... people get hooked ”.

On screen, this is reflected when they say "that they are neither left nor right", or when a girl shouts "Sieg Heil" (the fascist greeting in Hitler's time) and they silence her by replying: "That is from the past."

The director confesses worried "because this happens in all European countries, even the Scandinavian ones." Schwochow insists: “They are convincing a lot of people, look at the Brexit referendum. And we cannot despise them. The best thing that could happen to Boris Johnson in the UK and Donald Trump in the US is that we label them clowns and joke about them. You have to oppose. I am very concerned about the future of Germany, and how the world left has not found an effective way to stop this fascist populism. For the creator, the far right has advanced to the left "in the use of labels in social networks, in their appropriation of slogans, rap, pop stars and the digital world in general, and they are winning."

Source: elparis

All life articles on 2021-03-04

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