Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 13:13
Annekatrin Hendel, Germany 2014
Sascha Anderson was a leading figure in the underground art scene of East Berlin in the 1980’s. It later came out that he was spying on his friends for the Stasi. Anderson is a documentary film where Sascha and his former friends are interviewed about the past and the effect it had on everyone involved.
This was quite the controversial film at the festival, and it is easy to see how it could be divisive. With quotes such as, “In other societies you wouldn’t let him live. The punishment for betraying your friends is death. („In anderen Gesellschaften hätte man ihn nicht überleben lassen. Da steht auf Freundesverrat der Tod.”) Coming from Anderson’s former friends, it is clear that tensions still run high even 25 years after the fact. However, as Anderson himself stated, these people were not innocent victims, but actively protesting against the state and therefore putting themselves at risk. That they continue to view his participation with the Stasi as such a crime (especially when no one was harmed by his intel), seems extreme. Anderson is definitely worth a watch, although overall, it feels extremely biased. As the entire film involves his former friends slinging metaphorical mud at him, there is little opportunity for real dialogue which is a shame. (Rose Finlay)