What a life!
Feature documentary only in movie theatres
Walter Kaufmann died on April 15, 2021 at the age of 97 in Berlin.
In his life important events, catastrophes, and tremors of the last century are reflected in the most extraordinary way, and they continue to have an impact on our present day.
The film follows the traces of his life in international locations: USA, Cuba, Australia, Japan and Israel. In Germany the film stations are Berlin, where he has lived since 1956, Duisburg, where he experienced his youth, and Born am Darß, where he spends the summer months. For us filmmakers, the essential contents of Walter Kaufmann's life are: the catastrophic consequences of National Socialism, the civil rights movement in the USA, the legendary trial against Angela Davis, the revolution in Cuba, the confrontation with Stalinism, the effects of the atomic bombing in Japan, the never-ending story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the collapse of the GDR, the return of nationalistic, anti-Semitic currents in Germany.
An important dramaturgical element recurring in the film is the implementation of the correspondence between Sally and Johanna Kaufmann and their adoptive son Walter. This moving exchange that has been preserved begins with Walter's transport of children to England and ends on the day the parents are deported to Theresienstadt.
Since his youth, Walter Kaufmann has sided with the persecuted and disenfranchised on earth. His thirst for adventure is the expression of an alert mind that wants to see the world with its own eyes. It is a rare last opportunity for young and older viewers to get to know the world from the perspective of this contemporary witness.