Peter Fleischmann

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Peter Fleischmann
Peter Fleischmann at Deutsches Filminstitut, gesturing.jpg
Peter Fleischmann at Deutsches Filminstitut in 2018
Born(1937-07-26)26 July 1937
Zweibrücken, Bavaria, Germany
Died11 August 2021(2021-08-11) (aged 84)
Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
  • Film director
  • Screenwriter
  • Film producer
AwardsDeutscher Filmpreis

Peter Fleischmann (26 July 1937 – 11 August 2021)[1] was a German film director, screenwriter and producer. He worked also as an actor, cutter, sound engineer, interviewer and speaker. Fleischmann belonged to the New German Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. He is known for directing the 1969 Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern (Hunting Scenes from Bavaria), but he produced films of many genres.

Life and career[edit]

Peter Fleischmann was born in Zweibrücken.[1] He studied at the Deutsches Institut für Film und Fernsehen [de] (German Institute of Film and Television, DIFF) in Munich[1] and Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris.[2] He had contact with representatives of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, and became a friend of Jean-Claude Carrière, with whom he later wrote screenplays.[2] After years as an assistant director, he became a director in 1963 in short films and children's films. In 1967, he directed a documentary, Herbst der Gammler [de], about the Gammler [de] subculture, which anticipated the gereration conflicts of the 1968 student movement.[3]

His first full-length film was released in 1969, Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern, based on the play of the same name by Martin Sperr, who also played the leading role. The film reflects critically how a Bavarian village deals with outsiders, especially the homosexual character played by Sperr.[4] The film was awarded prizes, including the Filmband in Silber of Deutscher Filmpreis. It was suggested for a nomination as the Oscars' best foreign film but was not nominated.[5][4] The film made Fleischmann a representative of the New German Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s.[6] The same year, Fleischmann and Volker Schlöndorff founded the film production company Hallelujah-Film.[1]

In Fleischmann's later works, often the seemingly villainous character would turn out to be a good person. In Das Unheil (Havoc), with a script by Fleischmann and Martin Walser, he criticised in 1972 the provincial attitude of a Hessian small town and pollution of the environment. The film was awarded the Prix Luis Buñuel of the Cannes Festival.[7] In Dorotheas Rache [de] (1974), he created a provocative satire on the sexfilm wave.[8] His 1979 film The Hamburg Syndrome (Die Hamburger Krankheit) about an unknown infectious plague in German, with actor Helmut Griem, received attention again in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.[9]

Fleischmann's films were often critically acclaimed, but not successful at the box office, which reduced the potential for projects in the 1980s. Schlöndorff described him as a Renaissance person, comparable to Orson Welles, who had visions but was reduced to early works. In 1990, he created Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein (Hard to Be a God),[10] an elaborate film after a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Faithful to his early documentaries, he produced Deutschland, Deutschland from interviews with simple passers-by in Germany's East and West about Die Wende, indicating future difficulties after Germany's reunification.[1] In 2006, he produced Mein Freund, der Mörder (My Friend the Murderer), a documentary about his friend Bernhard Kimmel [de] whom he had portrayed before in the 1987 Der Al Capone der Pfalz. He published a novel in 2008, Die Zukunftsangst der Deutschen, about the Germans' fear of the future.[11] He was active with the restoration of several of his films.[2]

In the 1990s, Fleischmann was on the board of the Babelsberg Studios of the former UFA and DEFA, and was instrumental in the rescue of the studios, finding investors from European countries.[12] He was a founding member of the Deutsche Filmakademie in 2003. His last residence was in Werder near Potsdam, where he died at age 84 after a bad fall.[13]



Fleischmann was active as actor, director, script writer and producer, among others.[12]


Films directed by Fleischmann include:[12]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Peter Fleischmann mit 84 Jahren gestorben". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Interview mit Peter Fleischmann zum 80. Geburtstag". Die Rheinpfalz (in German). 25 July 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Herbst der Gammler". Deutsches Filminstitut (in German). Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Langford, Michelle (1 January 2012). Directory of World Cinema: Germany. Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1-84-150582-4.
  5. ^ a b c "Kino: Al Capone der Pfalz kommt in den Nordwesten". Nordwest-Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ "DVD-Tipp: Neuer Deutscher Film" (in German). Deutsche Welle. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d "Peter Fleischmann – Biografie". Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Dorotheas Rache". (in German). Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  9. ^ ""Hamburger Krankheit": Kultfilm sah schon 1979 die Corona-Krise voraus". Hamburger Morgenpost (in German). 14 April 2020. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  10. ^ Seidl, Claudius (13 August 2021). "Zum Tod von Peter Fleischmann: Das unwiderstehliche Bild eines Traums von der Freiheit". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Biographie". Peter Fleischmann (in German). Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Peter Fleischmann (in German) 2021
  13. ^ "Zentrale Figur des Neuen Deutschen Films: Peter Fleischmann ist tot, der Regisseur von "Jagdszenen aus Niederbayern"". Der Spiegel (in German). 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  14. ^ Göttler, Fritz (12 August 2021). "Regisseur Peter Fleischmann ist tot". Sü (in German). Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Die Abenteuer des jungen Don Juan". MUBI. Retrieved 17 August 2021.

External links[edit]