Gegen den Strom – Abgetaucht in Venezuela

Gegen den Strom – Abgetaucht in Venezuela

Documentary Film
84 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ümit Uludağ, Martin Roelly, Erik Winker
Sobo Swobodnik
Sobo Swobodnik
Manuel Stettner
Sobo Swobodnik
Tom Weber, Andreas Mühlschlegel
Thomas Walter was part of the Berlin autonomous scene. In 1995 he and two co-perpetrators were accused of having attempted an arson attack on an uninhabited deportation prison in Berlin-Grünau which was prevented by the police. Arrest warrants for the three as members of a leftist terrorist association are still valid today. They went underground for decades. It is only in 2017 that Walter contacts his family in Germany again – from Venezuela, where he has applied for asylum.

Thomas Walter is also a relative of the Berlin filmmaker Sobo Swobodnik, who travels with a camera to the Andes in 2019 to meet the former autonomist in his home surrounded by vegetable gardens. This is where he is working on a music project with the Berlin singer Pablo Charlemoine aka Mal Élevé in an improvised studio in the kitchen. There’s also an extensive interview in which Walter, in Baden dialect, talks remarkably frankly (and self-righteously) about attitudes and events then and now. His former enthusiasm for the Chavist project has long since given way to criticism, but his anarchist ideals are still there. A film that offers a rare insight into a world usually invisible due to the pressure of legal persecution, with a soundtrack featuring the political and activist songs of Walter & Co.

Silvia Hallensleben