Warheads

    • Romuald Karmakar
    • Germany, France
    • 1992
    • 182 min
    • Focus: It Still Hurts
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    This film featuring extensive interviews with two soldiers caused controversy when it came out. Director Romuald Karmakar makes no moral judgement and is principally interested in the ethics of warfare. The armed forces become surrogate families with a morality all their own. In his later work he continued to concentrate on perpetrators rather than victims, such as in The Deathmaker and The Himmler Project.

    Warheads was filmed in a paramilitary training camp in Mississippi, in French Guiana, and during the Croatian civil war in 1991. Veteran Günter Aschenbrenner gives a detailed account of his time as a parachutist in the French Foreign Legion. He set up rocket launching bases in Libya and Congo, and trained legionnaires. The younger British mercenary Karl is fighting with a militia against the Yugoslav army. While Günter looks back at his career with pride, the nervous drug addict Karl talks about his self-destructive tendencies. He experiences war as a drug, a whirlpool you can’t get out of once you’re in it. “One day, I’ll probably sink into that damn hole.”

    Credits

    • 182 min
    • color
    • 16mm
    • Spoken languages: German, French, English
    Director
    Romuald Karmakar
    Production
    Wolfgang Pfeiffer for Max Film Wolfgang Pfeiffer Filmproduktion, Anne-Marie Autissier for Eurocréation Productions
    Cinematography
    Michael Teutsch, Klaus Merkel, Reiner Lauter, Bruno Affret
    Editing
    Katja Dringenberg
    Sound
    Klaus-Peter Kaiser, Norbert Werner, Eckhard W. Kuchenbecher, Istvan Kerenyi
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    IDFA history

    2019
    Screened
    Focus: It Still Hurts
    1993
    Screened

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