Max Beckmann - Departure


Length: 90 Min
Format: HD 16:9
Directed by: Michael Trabitzsch
Year: 2012/2013

Max Beckmann is the German Modernist painter whose works are most coveted today. As for the other artists of his generation, the First World War is the major caesura of the epoch. The experience of existential solitude and the loss of all traditional conventions transforms him into a radical and unyielding seeker of truth. Directly and heedlessly, he “looks at” his time, and again and again, at himself, in order to discover a valid expression, an enduring form. One could call Albert Camus a late spiritual brother: both created art from the experience of unbounded solitude in the world. Both, however, also had the strength to withstand this experience in a radical way.

This film about Max Beckmann draws on a considerable amount of new material: diaries and letters that can be dramatised as a kind of personal disclosure. There are photos of him and film material shot by him. His many self-portraits can be used as a leitmotif to document his search for truth in a chronological way. And the film recalls the many places where he lived in order to illustrate his turbulent life during turbulent times.

The film is being made in collaboration with Max Beckmann’s granddaughter, Mayen Beckmann.

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