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Er spielte seinen Schatten mit

He Played His Shadow
The Actor Klaus Kammer

He Also Played His Shadow. The Actor Klaus Kammer recounts the dark blossoming, the barely accessible mystery of his dramatic art and the short life of the nearly forgotten actor Klaus Kammer (1929-1964).

At just 27 years of age, he had already been the youthful star of the extraordinary ensemble of the Berlin Schillertheater. At the centre of his work stands his acting alongside Fritz Kortner, who saw in him 'an admonishing angel of death already in life'. Kammer was rehearsing the part of Ferdinand in Schiller's Intrigue and Love with Kortner when he died aged 34 under mysterious circumstances that have never been fully resolved.

His performance as a great ape in Kafka's A Report to an Academy was unforgettable. The documentary brings back the ape to host a journey through Kammer's life. With this part, Kammer accomplished the feat of undergoing the ultimate transformation while remaining completely present as a human being.

The mystery of his death has long been the subject of great speculation. The film leaves the mystery intact and concentrates instead on the magnetism, strife and fragility of a person and actor exploring the very limits of his art with unbelievable assuredness.

The endurance and transparency of his own fragile identity, from the enthusiastic Hitler Youth member to portraying 'the other' in Max Frisch's Andorra and The Diary of Anne Frank, made him 'the representative of his generation spat out by the sky' (Thomas Holtzmann).

Without the use of a narrator, the film presents over 150 photographs, historic radio recordings as well as private photographs and footage from Klaus Kammer's estate.

Ivan Nagel
‘It's not often a great dead artist is brought back to us as vividly as in Andreas Lewin's s film about the actor Klaus Kammer. Clever dramaturgical choices combine with inventive yet unobtrusive photography and the interviewer's empathy and respect in creating a worthwhile, humane and beautiful film. I wouldn't have thought it possible that I would meet Klaus Kammer again, without any false sounds or images.’


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Er spielte seinen Schatten mit
He Played His Shadow
The Actor Klaus Kammer

With Hilde Kammer, Christine Kammer, Friederike Kammer, Charlotte Fuchs, Bruno Ganz, Thomas Holtzmann, Imo Moszkovicz, Heidemarie Theobald, Hansjörg Utzerath, Stefan Wigger

Coproduced by Andreas Lewin Filmproduktion / Christoph Rüter Filmproduktion with Sender Freies Berlin

75 min
Director of Photography Wojciech Szepel
Sound Jan Weymann
Editor Sybille Windt (BFS)