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Berlinale fly-on-the-wall film peers inside German far right party – Metro US

Berlinale fly-on-the-wall film peers inside German far right party

Interview with German director Simon Brueckner
Interview with German director Simon Brueckner

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Berlinale film about Germany’s biggest far-right party offers a fly-on-the-wall portrayal of a chaotic organisation beset by power struggles and resentful of its rejection by the political mainstream.

“A German Party”, a documentary premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday, follows the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party over more than two years, showing insider meetings of the first far-right group to sit in parliament since the 1960s.

Divided into six chapters, the film is purely observational with no commentary or interviews to explain the context of events.

“The question was: Can I see anything that’s not just what they want me to see? Can I see behind the facade a little further?” German director Simon Brueckner told Reuters.

With a two-person crew and clips from 500 hours of material, Brueckner shows a party struggling to define its character and escape the isolation imposed on it by other mainstream parties.

He describes the film as an artistic documentary showing a unique and complex experience of a closed world.

The film shows how the more radical factions of the party, the “Young Alternative” and the so-called “Wing”, which have been classified by the country’s domestic intelligence service as suspected right-wing extremist groups, battle with the group’s moderate voices on regional and national levels.

“The film is something like an offer for people who are wondering how it exactly happened?” Brueckner said.

The AfD entered the national parliament in 2017, buoyed by voters angry with the government’s decision to welcome almost one million asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa.

Mainstream political parties accuse it of fostering divisions through verbal attacks on Muslims and migrants. The AfD has denied harbouring racist views.

The exclusion the party feels helped Brueckner convince its politicians to allow him into its internal meetings, he said.

“I said ‘I want to show you; who you are. I want to know your world’,” Brueckner added. Keeping an open mind during filming and managing mistrust and rejection from some politicians were among his biggest challenges.

The AfD had no say in what is presented in the film nor had watched it before its festival premier, he said.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, Editing by William Maclean)

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