DOK Leipzig 29. Oktober – 4. November 2018
61. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Master class peter nestler


Master Class

A poetic view of reality – master class with Peter Nestler

Tuesday 30 Oktober 2012, 14:00 - 16:30 h
Polnisches Institut

Video - Master Class with Peter Nestler, 30.10.2012



DOK Training

Ilo von Seckendorff

+49 (0) 341 30864-29

With accreditation only.


Peter Nestler’s films are direct and unadorned. He seeks not to create a false reality but rather to let the truth speak for itself. He often chooses the world of work as a subject for his films, turning farmers and glassblowers into his protagonists. Peter Nestler is thus considered, along with Klaus Wildenhahn, one of the great documentarians of the everyday life of “ordinary” people in the German Federal Republic.


Born in 1937 in Freiburg, Germany, he studied art in Munich and beginning in 1962 produced his first documentary films, Am Siel and Mülheim/Ruhr. Ein Arbeiterclub in Sheffield (A Working Men’s Club in Sheffield) marked the end of his cooperation with German broadcasters as Nestler’s political stance was considered too left leaning. He emigrated to Sweden, where he found work with the state television network and began directing his films “on the side” (since 1967 in collaboration with his Zsóka).


To mark his 75th birthday, DOK Leipzig will be celebrating Peter Nestler’s film career with a tribute.


To our deep regret, Peter Nestler could not be able to come to the Leipzig Festival for family reasons.


We were all the more pleased that filmmaker and cameraman Rainer Komers, member of this year’s Young Cinema Jury, has agreed at short notice to have a talk about Peter Nestler’s work with Dr. Kay Hoffmann (Haus des Dokumentarfilms, Stuttgart) as a sign of their solidarity and cooperation with Peter Nestler. Both filmmakers have known each other since the 1960s and Rainer Komers has contributed to several films of Peter Nestler. In the master class Rainer Komers and Kay Hoffmann discussed Nestlers cinematic work and showed selected excerpts from his oeuvre.


This event was held in German without translation.

Rainer Komers on his work with Peter Nestler

"I did the camera work for the first time for Peter in Frankfurt for the film „Judengasse“ (1988). But we had already met 20 years earlier, after he made „Mülheim-Ruhr“, which I considered style-setting at that time and still do so: a poetic camera film steeped in deep sympathy for those disregarded and ignored by the mainstream, i.e. workers, victims of persecution and minorities. We both belong to a generation that has been confronted with the aftermath of war and racism. There was a wordless agreement like in the filmic craftsmanship and in our approach to human beings in front of the camera.

Further stations of our cooperation have been „Pachamama“ (1995, Film Prize of Hesse), „Flucht“ (2000) and „Die Verwandlung des guten Nachbarn“ (2002).

I am especially looking forward to see again „Ein Arbeiterclub in Sheffield“ (1965) that will be screened in the homage and of which I once wrote:

„A working men’s club in Sheffield" is not so much a film about the class struggle rather than a milieu or case study and a historic document. Nestler’s point of view as an outsider at the interface of social cultures and classes allows an insight – simply speaking – into the contradictory driving forces of life and society and captures them in poetic images. The emphasis is on «images»: more than 200 settings 11.5 sec long on average in less than 40 min. This is still not Cinéma Verité with its tribute to immediacy (and original sound). Keeping a respectful distance, Nestler finds the «right» picture for the person concerned in the relevant situation, discloses its beauty that outshines the traces of the humiliation suffered.

(from „Zeit für Mitteilungen“, issued by Filmwerkstatt Essen, 1990)"

Master Class with Peter Nestler - Pictures