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

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.