The following is a translation of the statement signed by 25 former collaborators and associates of R.W. Fassbinder that was made public last Spring in Germany. We make it available here so that our readers may judge for themselves but we neither endorse nor repudiate the opinions expressed by the signatories.
May 30, 2007
We, the Undersigned, have all made significant contributions to the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. As regards the administration of his legacy, we have so far been silent. We can no longer do so.
Not only have the dubious methods that Juliane Lorenz employed to lay claim to and secure her status as sole representative of the entire legacy now come fully to light.
Not only has she systematically excluded as “undesirable” [Fassbinder’s] closest co-workers from all Fassbinder Foundation activities.
Not only does the legal status of the “Foundation” remain unclear to this day—according to German law, the Foundation lacks a board that would ordinarily respond to the many questions relating to Fassbinder’s work. But also, an Annual Report, a mandatory duty of any Foundation, has yet to be made available for examination.
Juliane Lorenz has proudly cited the effort that went into her recent DVD “remastering” of Berlin Alexanderplatz. To be clear: she has more than noticeably “brightened” the entire work for commercial reasons. And this despite the fact that Fassbinder stood his ground against the major objections of the production company and the television network to the film’s drastically dark tones, which he felt reflected the deeply-felt pessimism of the Alfred Döblin novel.
To falsify and adulterate Fassbinder’s most important work, purely out of commercial interest, is an act of insurmountable presumption and borders on philistinism.
We demand, therefore, that Juliane Lorenz withdraw from the management of the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation.
Furthermore, we demand that she turn over all of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s work to, for example, the German Kinemathek Berlin, so that it will be available to the public, free from financial interests.
Isolde Barth, actress, director
Peter Berling, author, producer
Walter Bockmayer, director
Rudolf-Waldemar Brem, actor
Rolf Bührmann, producer
Ingrid Caven, actress, singer
Hans Eckelkamp, director, producer, distributor
Thea Eymesz, editor
Frank Fellermeier, Peer-Raben-Werkstatt
Michael Fengler, director, producer
Molly von Fürstenberg, producer
Ila von Hasperg, editor
This Brunner, distributor, Switzerland
Hans Hirschmüller, actress
Gottfried Hüngsberg, composer
Günter Kaufmann, actor
Peter Kern, actor, director
Udo Kier, actor
Renate Leiffer, director’s assistant
Ulli Lommel, actor
Karl Scheydt, actor
Elga Sorbas, actress
Ursula Strätz, actress
Y Sa Lo, actress
Werner Schröter, director