This second film in Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's German trilogy (which concludes in his mammoth masterwork OUR HITLER) explores the perplexing figure of German writer Karl May. A popular spinner of Wild West yarns, May's escapist tales are shown, via Syberberg's cinematic kaleidoscope, to have some unsettling ties to the rise of the Third Reich.
The second film in Hans Jurgen Syberberg's highly impressionistic German Trilogy, KARL MAY follows the last years in the life of Germany's most popular author. Karl May, a prolific and beloved writer, wrote rousing adventure tales set in America's Wild West, which mythologized a rustic lifestyle that appealed to German sensibilities and may have inspired the Nazi Party.
Syberberg's meditation on May fuses theater, music, and cinema to offer a perspective on May as a man who mythologized himself as an extension of his art. KARL MAY picks up where Syberberg's Ludwig left off while prefiguring his masterpiece Our Hitler