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Wim Wenders

Peter Handke
(based on Goethe's "Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre")

Director of Photography:
Robby Müller

Peter Przygodda

Jürgen Knieper

Production Design:
Heidi Lüdi

Rüdiger Vogler
Hanna Schygulla
Ivan Desny
Marianne Hoppe Peter Kern
Nastassja Kinski
Lisa Kreuzer

Festivals/Awards: 1975 German Film Prize in Gold
(for Director, Screenplay, Editor, Director of Photography, Music and Actors.)

Peter Geneé
Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders

104 min.

35mm Color

Original Title:
Falsche Bewegung

Original Language:


Bonn, a castle on the Rhine, a neighborhood on the outskirts pf Frankfurt and finally Zugspitze are the stage in a journey that will free your Wilhelm Meister from the gloominess and from the discouragement oppressing him in his home town. He believes that it is only by moving away from his mother that he can satisfy his yearning to be a writer.

During the journey he meets an odd couple: an old vagrant singer, Laertes, who is still struggling within himself against the ghosts of his Nazi past and Mignon, a dumb girl; he falls in love with the actress, Therese, and makes friends with the young vagabond poet, Bernhard Landau.

This party, that spontaneously and quit by the chance
gather around Welhelm, very soon breaks up. After the old industrialist who offers them hospitality for a night in his castle commits suicide, Bernhard breaks away from the others.

Soon afterwards Wilhelm shakes off the vagrant singer, sickened by his morbid searching into the past. In the end he also leaves Therese, who goes to Italy together with Mignon. By now Wilhelm has no other wish but to be alone and devote himself to his writing. His journey ends on the Zugspitze.

This film represents a catastrophic poem in which the catastrophy acquires its own grandeur. The entire film is based on the subtle distinction between right and wrong.

We tried to avoid making Wilhelm and, in general, the other characters, behave in an entirely just way. Even the relationships between the characters are neither right nor wrong, but always in equilibrium – even if they are never presented this way in the film- between right and wrong. One moment it seems that Wilhelm has acted in the right way, the next moment, it becomes clear that he hasn’t realized it and destroys everything anew. Hence the title Falsche Bewegung.

In Goethe’s Wilhelm Mesiter and generally in literature before the Twenthieth century, the topos of travel is identified with continuous change, with experience, with development. The entire pedagogic novel (Entwicklungsroman) becomes unthinkable without that topos. Traveling is equivalent to a search for identity.



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