Edition Filmmuseum 49
A hybrid of fiction and documentary, Thomas Harlan's 1984 Wundkanal: Execution For Four Voices is a film about SS-mass murderer Dr. Albert Filbert, leader of the SS-Einsatzgruppe B (SS-deployment group) and head of the German intelligence service. After the war, Filbert worked for the CIA in Bolivia under the pseudonym Dr. Selbert; afterward, he became director of the Hypothekenbank in Hannover, Germany. In a fictionalized setting, a group of radical left-wing terrorists, sympathizers of the German terrorist group Red Army Faction, kidnap Filbert, alias Dr. Selbert, and subject him to an interrogation by four invisible voices. Filbert is held hostage in a room, where the walls function as an eight-sided mirror, equipped with several monitors – such that, it becomes impossible for one’s gaze to avoid one’s image. Tormenting Filbert with his own truth, staged as a process of constant mirroring that will ultimately infect the interrogators, the film exposes the complex mechanism of accusation, reclamation, denial, and guilt, which is revealed to be inextricably entangled with the satisfaction provided by the power to interrogate.

The character Dr. Albert Filbert, alias Dr. S., is played by the then 80-years-old real Albert Filbert, who had been convicted as a war criminal in 1962 and released from prison in 1975 for medical reasons. Not only the identity of actor and character, but also the conditions of the film's shooting blur the border between fiction and reality to the point of their indistinguishability.

Robert Kramer collaborated with Harlan on the project. He recorded scenes of filming, interviewed the cast and crew. Later, he turned these into the independent project Our Nazi. Both this film and Harlan’s were screened for the first time at the Venice Film Festival in 1984, and reappeared together at the Berlin Film Festival in 1985. The fact that Harlan’s father Veit Harlan was a film director who had made the film Jud Suss (1940) was a major factor in the reception accorded the film: "Harlan’s hatred of his father resembles, strangely enough, an inverted love; and Kramer's film, titled Our Nazi with intentional irony, obliges us to ask ourselves: who is the Nazi in this story?" The West German production team decided to postpone general screening of the film; it has rarely surfaced since.

2xDVD9 | PAL 4:3 | 01:42:22, 01:53:36 | 6.51 Gb + 5.44 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Deutsch
Subtitles: English, Francais, Deutsch
Genre: Drama, Documentary


-- Wundkanal 1984
-- Der Film 'Wundkanal' 2007, 34 min

-- Notre Nazi 1984 (in French with English, German subtitles)
-- Photos from the shooting

Download Edition Filmmuseum 49: Wundkanal / Gun Wound – Execution for Four Voices (1984), Notre nazi / Our Nazi (1984) 2 x DVD9: