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BRUNO SCHLEINSTEIN | ACTOR
ESTRANGEMENT IS DEATH
A Filmportrait produced by MIRON ZOWNIR | 60 minutes, color | Virus Film, Berlin 2003
PLOT: As Kaspar Hauser in Werner Herzogs The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Bruno S. rose out of nowhere into the limelight of public attention. His former life having been an Odyssee through orphanages, mental institutions and half way houses, he finally seemed to have anchored on the better side of this world.
One year later in 1976, Herzog again is casting Bruno as the protagonist of his movie Stroszek, in order to built him a monument. A monument which he forgot as soon as his movie was finished. Bruno’s fast “two minutes of fame” were followed by long years of loneliness and isolation, trying to survive as a backyard musician and painter.
When Miron Zownir in 1995 returned to Berlin from his 15 years stay in the United States he met Bruno and photographed him for his book Radical Eye. As he got to know Bruno better he decided to document his life with the same intense uncensored and particular visual sensitivity known from his photos.
Even though Bruno was shy and full of resentments—Zownir nevertheless managed to overcome his distrust. “ There are many questions which are not easy to answer”—Bruno says even though he tried to answer them throughout his life - And there are many wounds that time couldn’t heal.
In his visions and dreams he meets members of his family in which there was never place for him. He sometimes talks to himself in the third person to find a distance to himself. He searches in lyrics for guidance and advice he never got from his own relatives. He creates a surrogate family dynasty with sleep, dream, vision and death being their members. The quotations which Zownir selected from scattered notes sum up the false illusions and hopes of Bruno’s life . He puts down his deep rooted fears and together with Miron Zownir and his affiliate and cameraman Phillip Virus enters a journey to search for the traces left behind by his strange and gloomy life.
Produktion: Virus Film, Friedelstr.29, D-12047 Berlin (Germany)