Pawlenski – Der Mensch und die Macht

Pawlenski – Der Mensch und die Macht

Documentary Film
99 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Wolfgang Bergmann
Irene Langemann
Daniel Langemann
Maksim Tarasyugin, Franz Koch
Lena Rem
Irene Langemann
Anna Sobova, Aleksandr Lemeshev
Pavlensky vs. Putin – an unequal fight. But David takes the risk and beats Goliath on exactly the field that the Russian State is particularly tetchy about claiming as its own: in public space and under the eyes of the international community – but silently. Petr Pavlensky is an exceptional artist, a man of pain. A man who risks everything: his freedom, his family. Who consistently uses his body. The vulnerability he displays is his most important tool. When he sews his lips shut it’s a cry. When he wraps himself in barbed wire it’s a modern age crown of thorns. He protests against violence by using violence on himself. His actions are based on a strong symbolism that everyone understands but that doesn’t express anything directly. So the police and national intelligence service helplessly fall back on the old methods of the Stalinist era: prison, psychiatry, accusations of “hooliganism”.

Director Irene Langemann followed Pavlensky over a long period of time. She confidently interweaves staged scenes, reconstructions, archive and documentary material, offering Pavlensky and his artistic interventions the space they need so that it’s not the spectacular element that is brought to the fore but their complexity.

Cornelia Klauß

Nominated for Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize