POETRY AND MADNESS
The professor who lost his job.
Poetry and madness – a tribute to a misunderstood poet and a professor who lost his professorship. A movie by Bernhard Wolf, cooperation Maya Klett, black and white/color, digital 70 min. Producer: EuroArtBerlin/ United Productions 2000. The film was shown at festivals in Amsterdam, Leipzig, Gera and the island of Poel.
The title “Dichtung und Wahnsinn” (poetry and madness) with an ironic look at the biography of Goethe, is a social portrait of the coffee-house-poet and lyricist Karl Werner Plath. The genuine Berliner who made with his Shakespearean adaptations in Castorffs “Volksbühne” in the capital a name for himself is the only poet in Germany who earned and fabled his livelihood with “acrostics” (baroque name poems which are ordered by the public, even the title) with this unique literary quick production.
The film “Dichtung und Wahnsinn” (poetry and madness) shows the “anti-hero of the GDR history” (FAZ) in the “new Germany” and in the encounter with scenes of his past: the Stasi headquarters in Leipzig, the lion’s cage at the local zoo, where he once for a suicide recommendation by a MFS staff member wanted to throw himself to this heraldic animal of Leipzig.
And the poet Karl Werner Plath traveling to Cuba, where he again met the socialism with uneasy amazement and returns to the capital the “new Germany” where he, the former FDJ secretary and party comrade now performs as a performance artist in pubs, together with his friend Hans, a failed “western” professor and anti-communist.
Poetry as trueness, poetry as an ideology, madness as a life principle of a failure to adapt!
Karl Werner Plath – incapable in neither social systems to invent rules becomes involuntarily a rebell,
“where he was not shown the door he was not there” (Junge Welt), the “poor poet” (Tagesspiegel) – haunts as “anti-hero” or “loony bin hitchhiker” (Süddeutsche) through the neo-German press.
For the lyricist Plath who was hospitalized to a sanatorium after his expulsion from the party and now mainly homeless - apply exclusively own myths and standards which he invented, in which he believes and which he lives (madness)!
A fairy-tale figure of modernity (Post-Post).
Karl Werner Plath died 2006.