Herbert Achternbusch: Companions remember – Munich

Filmmakers, painters, poets and bohemians: Companions remember Herbert Achternbusch.

Margarethe von Trotta became known as an actress with films by Herbert Achternbusch. Today she works as a director: “‘As long as there are high mountains, I don’t believe in justice.’ That was a text that Herbert Achternbusch had written for himself for his role in a film by Volker Schlöndorff. In it he played a village school teacher who sat in the tavern every evening and got drunk. I sat next to him as Reinhard Hauff’s wife, got drunk me too, and that’s how our brief, very intense friendship grew. At the Sorrento Film Festival, to which we were both invited, he asked me to wear a certain dress at the end: ‘I need it for my biography.’ And shortly afterwards I had to wear this dress in the ‘Andechser feeling’. He saw me as a film diva, which I wasn’t, or his mother, which I wasn’t either. His mother was a swimming teacher – and in the ‘Atlantic Swimmers’ I was that Swimming teacher. After we had shot a whole day for his ‘Beer Fight’ in a crowded, noisy beer tent, I said goodbye. But his sayings stayed with me. ‘Whoever survived goes across country.’ He only ever went cross-country, and he will survive.”

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