Address by Frédéric Mitterrand, Minister of Culture and Communication, on the occasion of the ceremony of the remisedes insignes of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters to Ingrid Caven, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, an officer in the order of the Artset of Letters to Helma Sanders-Brahms, Jan Mojto, and a knight in the order of Arts and Letters to Marie Bäumer, and Ulrich Tukur.
First of all, in the presence of his wife Katja, I would like
homage to the man of cinema that was Bernd Eichinger, who died recently
even though I wanted to distinguish his work by naming it in
order of arts and letters. After directing several short films, he
decided in the mid-1970s to move towards production, in
creating the company Solaris, which then finances the projects of young directors
in the image of Wim Wenders. In 1979, he took the reins of a
young company still in its infancy, Constantin film, which led him to success
that everyone knows. He was the producer of the most literary adaptations
Umberto Eco’s novel, The Name of the Rose, in
1986, the realization of which was entrusted to Jean-Jacques Annaud. The most
Also provocative, like the film that made him known: Moi Christiane F.
Drugged, prostituted in 1981.
Bernd Eichinger was also a brilliant and inspired writer: we owe him
the writing of the script for La Chute, in 2004, a striking dive into the
last days of Hitler and the Nazi regime, but also that of Parfum,
inspired by the hit novel by Patrick Süskind in 2006.
Bernd Eichinger has worked hard for French-German collaboration
: he knew our cinema, he liked it. It was a figure
of German cinema, internationally recognized, which makes it
won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2004 for Nowhere in Africa.
His success as a producer in recent years –
including the Resident Evil series and the Fantastic Four -
Bernd Eichinger owes it to his formidable capacity for work and his taste
projects. He placed them at the service of a constant dialogue between
those who make and those who love cinema in Europe. It was a great
of European cinema, which had grasped the importance of the
and narrative of cinema. I wanted to pay tribute to
the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.
Dear Ingrid Caven,
At random days,
In a town by chance
I’ll be like that, sitting at the bar
With my vague air, I will be very VOGUE»
(“American bar,” in Room 1050, Jean-Jacques Schuhl)
Night is your playground. In your movies, in your songs, it’s the
bar night, hotel night too, Das kleine Hotel, the Céramic-hotel, the
Room 1050, the night when your voice falls on the intimate places - this
night or never, Heute nacht oder denies, the night of the late Daniel Schmid,
«this night my love» with the voice of Jan Kiepura, the night of the cabaret
that you walk through in Yves Saint Laurent.
But back to the beginnings. After a Sarroise childhood where the
music already plays an important role, then studies of psychology and
pedagogy, you go to Munich where you meet Rainer Fassbinder,
Daniel Schmid and a theatrical scene in full effervescence. Very quickly
you confirm your entry into the world of the 7th art with Fassbinder,
in Liebe ist kälter als der Tod (Love is colder than death), in
1969, alongside Ulli Lommel and Hanna Schygulla. During
you will accompany the work of him who was your husband and who
will remain your friend, until the year of the 13 moons, in roles where the
prostitutes also become guardian angels.
Other great filmmakers from the same galaxy are calling on your talents,
like Jean Eustache, perhaps the most fassbinderien, filmmakers
in 1974. This is Daniel Schmid,
however, which gives you your great roles, with La Paloma, alongside
by Peter Kern and Bulle Ogier. You also have a place in
the universe of Werner Schroeter, in The Death of Maria Malibran, or in
The day of the idiots in 1983, in Doctor Laura facing a disturbing Carole
Bouquet whose mental health is questioned; in the productions of
theater of Schroeter, also, Salomé from Oscar Wilde to Mademoiselle
Julie from Strindberg.
You are a member of the jury of the 29th Berlinale in 1979, and you
received the Deutscher Filmpreis in 1981. Since then, we have
regularly on the screens, for example as a Russian princess in The
Time Found by Raoul Ruiz in 1999, or even more recently at
Claire Denis, in 35 Rums.
Beyond the black screens, Ingrid Caven is also of course the cabaret and the
song – with which you have developed an early affinity, as well as
your younger sister, Trudeliese Schmidt, whose opera scenes today
feel the absence so strongly. While registering yourself in the lineage
Edith Piaf and Marlène Dietrich, you impose your style since 1976
clean by your port and your presence on stage, during your first
at the Nationaltheater in Munich, directed by Werner
It’s Daniel Schmid who stages your first Parisian singing tour
at Pigall’s in 1978, in a show produced by Pierre Bergé where you
appear, unforgettable, in a dress that Yves Saint Laurent created
for you, so that you can better transport your audience, time
in the land of the Blue Angel. Since then, your recitals alternate with Kurt
Weill and the Beatles, Satie and Cage, covers of Piaf as at the Athénée
in 1988, the music of Oscar Strasnoy, but also texts written for
you by prestigious signatures, from Fassbinder to Hans
Magnus Enzensberger and of course Jean-Jacques Schuhl. When this
last, your partner in all things, signs an Ingrid Caven who receives
the Prix Goncourt in the year 2000, you receive the privilege, if particular for
an artist, to see your life in romance.
With you, it is also the magic of the Berlin of Döblin and Fassbinder
lives each time, populated by all the Franz Biberkopf of the earth, all
those who were injured by the unforgettable music of Peer Raben
are in your voice.
From cinema to theatre and cabaret, from German to French
also by English and Sardinian, you have the unique gift of knowing how to choose
languages of emotion, to decline the spleen and the Sehnsucht, at most
of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, the Burg Theater in
Vienna, the Odeon or the Rond-Point theatre – the time for a tango
trans-European. In the words of Jean-Jacques Schuhl,
“the interpretation” that you are has the “wonderful power faculty”
give what you don’t have.”
Dear Ingrid Caven, on behalf of the French Republic,
Commander’s insignia in the order of the Arts and
Dear Hans-Jürgen Syberberg,
In the world of cinema, you are among those to whom the requirement does not
in the Gesamtkunswerk, this conception of the work
of total art» which finds its sources in the century of Wagner.
After leaving your native Pomerania, you are studying
literature and history in Munich, which will inspire your work. The
questioning the history that characterizes you, we find it of course
in your marathon film Hitler, a German film, seven hours long
minutes (1978); in your striking interview with Winifred
Wagner, the composer’s granddaughter, on the bonds of friendship between him and
Hitler (1975), this moment of perversion of German culture against
which your cinema intends to perform exorcism; it is also your
baroque biography of Louis II of Bavaria (1972), where before the guillotine
we dance in Lederhose and parade on motorbikes; without forgetting your dive
in the world of writer Karl May (1974), this German Jules Verne who
dug the groove of popular literature by valuing these own heroes and
rights that the Führer admired.
When cinema joins your epic journey, you don’t hesitate to tell
an improbable and homeric «Catalogue of Ships» which runs from
modern times in contemporary times. The heart of your
concerns are Germany and its myths, its culture, its history,
a story the preacher makes his honey. More than memory
German, it is the spasms of Europe that you are examining, in a
trilogy as bold as it is visionary.
You are quickly recognized as a major filmmaker able to attract
the attention of top critics: Serge Daney, but also Philippe
Lacour-Labarthe or Gilles Deleuze. You are making yourself known
in the most advanced retrospectives, at the Cinémathèque de Paris,
but also at the Centre national Georges Pompidou in 2003 - which presents
then a retrospective of twenty of your films as well as several
large-scale exhibitions and installations. Your cinema
language of the visual arts, it lives and sees itself as installation, from your
Parsifal in 1981 – with the presence of a Wagner and
a padded frame - but also in the 31 films that compose
The Cave of Memory in 1997. Your installation Nietzsche-Ecce
homo in 2000, impressive statement of life beyond the death of a
Artist of «Dyonisos descendants», completes this research.
You are part of a tradition of Puritan radicalism, in the manner
Straub or Godard. Fritz Korner Monologues for a record,
in 1966 – one of the key players in your country, seized in its most
roles – at Un Rêve et quoi d'autre in 1994, where you put
foreground Edith Clever, the Marquise d'O de Rohmer - you realize
monologues that reveal the possibilities of a great actor and the
means of highlighting them in a clean, rigorous and
more than works, your films are above all manifestos,
sacred operas that confront the “disillusionment of the world”.
Your aesthetics confuse, clash with convenience: it borrows
at the cinema of Abel Gance, of Georges Méliès by his fantasy and his irony,
but also to German expressionism, that of Murnau as that of
Fritz Lang. It is New York that makes the success of Caligari (…). It is Paris
which makes the success of your Ludwig. Requiem for a virgin king, and guarantees
the reception of your cinema in France, while the critics
often nourishes a form of misunderstanding. Undoubtedly,
will you say, because you strive to be the
the unconscious», anthropologist of the myth insofar as you put it
to the day instead of exalting it.
Beyond your usual games, especially with Jürgen Habermas,
you are always at the forefront, as evidenced by your website,
one of the largest and one of the most stimulating designed by an artist, mirror
of your demanding aesthetics, but also theatre of all possible –
video-projections, webcam, remote dialogues - in line with your
For your work so dense, so strong and so ambitious, for your acute gaze
and extensive on European history, dear Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, on behalf
of the French Republic, we present you with the
Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Helma Sanders-Brahms,
In 1982, the magazine of the Cinema dedicates a file to you: it is entitled
The indomitable. A beautiful summary for your journey, which begins in
East Frisia on the banks of the Ems, in Emden, which had hosted the
French Huguenots at the time of the repression of religion
supposedly reformed”. I like to believe that Calvinist sermons do not
are not for nothing in the religious dimension that can be detected in
your cinema - a dimension you transfigure in a mystical quest
where the irrational crosses the subversive.
This freedom of tone and expression, you have made it your standard, with
the concern to build a personal and committed cinema, of which you
clearly assert the militant aspect. In 1976, it was the film Sous les
paved the beach that makes you known, reference film about the generation
after May 68. As a woman filmmaker, your cinema is first and foremost an art of
service of gender emancipation, in this period of all
and hopes. Most of your films describe the
painful destiny of women, from the Cologne midinette in
Angelica Urban in Germany blafarde mother, in 1980, your film that made the
the only one who plunges so singularly into the mirror
Hitlerian years disorder, not to mention the offered daughter, a quasidocumentary
on an actress who meets amateurs playing their
own role, for a dive into the deep waters of the
schizophrenia. You show people destroyed by these machines -
real or symbolic – that crush the human. They also respond
in response to your experience of television or modeling -
before you go to the movies.
Like many German directors, if you do this immersion
in the war and the immediate post-war period, if you address the past that
does not pass», it is to better balance what is expected from the side
distance analysis and political discourse. Choosing the most
of your mother, you surprise,
you divert, to the criticism that does not spare you.
Your films speak of everyday life, based on biblical references,
as in Gomorrah’s Last Days in 1974, film-opera
where you denounce the obscenity of the «Springer press» and
mass information. In this way, you are
historical and cultural mythologies of an entire generation: if you are
Preoccupied with the past, you worry about breaking old codes.
I wouldn’t want to forget the common ground you share with
other great figures in European cinema, such as Pier Paolo Pasolini,
that you met in 1967, to which you are bound by the temptation of religious and
the denunciation of all well-thoughts. If your films were few
on the other side of the Rhine, you co-produced
with France your last film Clara, in 2008, an ode to love, to the
music and concertist Clara Schumann, the composer and performer
which was celebrated throughout Europe.
European personality widely recognized, you have had
responsibilities within the Commission’s Cultural Council. Pioneer,
you were advisor to the German Federal Prime Minister of the
Culture in 1999-2000. Your Francophilia assumed and your knowledge
make you an active member of the High Cultural Council
Promoter of what you call the “quiet and joyful force” of
female, iconoclastic and radical filmmaker, refusing the facility, you
know how to remind everyone that the best of the 7th art can be also and before
all the fruit of the requirement.
Dear Helma Sanders-Brahms, on behalf of the French Republic, we
You are presented with the Officer’s insignia in the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Jan Mojto,
“With boldness, we can do everything, we cannot do everything”.
Maybe Napoleon would turn in his grave if he saw you not
only produce a very beautiful fresco on his epic, but recount
so many other exciting times, from Rome to the darkest hours of
our contemporary history - to the delight of lovers of
cinema and history.
Born in Slovakia, you pass symbolically very young borders
a Europe where the veil of history has been torn apart. You will not
ceases to reconcile, through historical and literary subjects that
the cultural unity of Europe, the enemy brothers that our nineteenth and twentieth
centuries have given birth.
The European polyglot you are began his career in
Kirch Group programmes for almost 15 years, and
on the antennas of the largest European channels, working
with Mediaset in Italy, Gestevisión Telecinco in Spain or
Telepiù in Italy. Theater and film criticism at your
you bring to the small screen your passion for history and
Literature you studied in Bratislava and Munich.
These are works like «Napoleon», which you produce in 2003,
that earn you the recognition of your peers, with the
Charlemagne for the European media, and the Bavarian Order of Merit.
We all remember the performance of Christian Clavier in
Bonaparte, and Gérard Depardieu en Fouché, flanked by a John
Malkovich in silk stockings to play Talleyrand.
The fruit of your collaboration, so many other names could be mentioned among the
directors you have worked with: Ermanno Olmi, Robert Dornhelm,
Oliver Hirschbiegel, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck …
Attached to the great European symbols, animated by your desire to
nourish the pleasure of the image and the desire to learn, you produce
many television series, which were and continue to be
world success. At the head of your EOS group, you allow
example in Rome, a series acclaimed by both critics and
historians, to see the day on the channel HBO. Viewers there
discover a Roman society made of wars of power, from a
a credible ethnography of social classes, a unique restitution
sensitive approach to cultural exchanges, the revisited figures of
great heroes – so many aspects generally invisible in a pebble
I would pause for a moment on your production, probably the most
for the interest it represents in a process of duty
memory, but also for the emotional shock it may have caused
around the world. In 2004 you co-produced Der Untergang (The
fall), which you entrust to the sharp look of Oliver Hirschbiegel. In
focusing attention on the figure that most likely marked
the bloody history of the last century, the confusing and excellent Bruno Ganz
book a tormented and fallen Adolf Hitler, humanized, where textbooks do not
speak only of the horror of mechanized evil.
To give to see, to think and to rethink, to rethink, it is the mission that you
you are given as a producer, from Borgia to John Rabe, from
Miserable with Gérard Depardieu at the series on the hell of Dresden – where
you are found, dear Maria Bäumer - and in the life of others. Beyond
proofreading of history in series and films of high quality
You also work on the diffusion of great opera classics,
from Mozart to Puccini.
For the major role you play in the production and circulation of
audiovisual works, for your commitment to
has enabled so many French cinema and television works,
German and European to be born, dear Jan Mojto, on behalf of the
French Republic, we present you with the insignia of Officer in
the Order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Marie Bäumer,
“Talent is about love,” said Romy Schneider, to whom we
attributes to you a great resemblance. It may be in this
love question that lies one of the secrets of your life’s success
Born in Düsseldorf, you grew up in Hamburg. Hamburg
is also the stage of your acting training at Studio 033, as you
also led in Ticino, near Locarno, to the Scuola
Teatro Dimitri. German television channels spot you and you
then propose your first roles. In 1995, Detlev Buck trains you
in the adventure of Männerpension, alongside Til Schweiger and Heike
Makatsch, in an explosive role: the success of this playful comedy you
then open the doors of the cinema.
The greatest directors are quickly starting to appeal to you, like
the Taviani brothers, for whom you play in the TV film Resurrection
(in 2000) and in 2002 in Wim Wenders Viel’s documentary
Passiert on BAP, the rock band of Cologne, where you appear at
its founder Wolfgang Niedecken.
In 2002 and 2003, your career is at a turning point when you receive
the Jupiter of the best German actress for your role in Der Schuh
Manitu, then with your role in Der alte Affe Angst (Hello
anxiety), a film by Oskar Roehler presented at the Berlinale, where
your charm and your interpretation: this role is worth the price of the cinema
and the German Film Critic Award, through
a work that also makes known your talents outside
Germany. You have since played in Dresden, then The Forgers of
Stefan Ruzowitzky. We just happily found you in Face the
crime, the Dominik Graf series that was presented at the Berlinale the year
and that the Franco-German channel ARTE also aired.
From the television series Napoleon signed Jacques Simoneau, where you
play Caroline Bonaparte, you have gradually built a link
France where you now reside. You also have
multiplied the participations in productions of the French-German channel,
as for example Hello the anguish of Oskar Roehler,
Painful memories of Stefan Krohmer or 10 seconds ago
of Nikolai Rohde – where you play the wife of a signalman
The film sets do not distract you from your passion for the
from the Theater im Zimmer where you played in 1995. In
2007, at the request of the Salzburg Festival, you play the lover in
Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann. You just introduced
in Hamburg last month, your first play, Abschied (Farewell), of which
You put the stage on your own.
Your son Shawn, who must be 13 now, must be very proud of
you, and rightly so. Your talents on the stage and on television screens
have been awarded several times. We admire your
ability to alternate boards with filming, which you teach to
your students, and think about the economy of expressions according to the medium
- following a Brechtian descent of which you claim, and which you
allows, by distancing, to design and control your characters
the most dramatic, to the delight of your many
admirers. You have already become a reference for those
which, in Germany and France, are destined to the profession of actor.
Dear Marie Bäumer, on behalf of the French Republic,
Let us present the insignia of Chevalier in the order of Arts and Letters.
Dear Ulrich Tukur,
You are one of the German stars that illuminates the world of cinema
European, both bright and familiar.
After studying in Boston and at the University of Hanover, you study
German, English and History at the prestigious University of Tübingen,
and you practice both singing and accordion professionally.
Then it is a few steps away, in Stuttgart, that you become a student of the
College of Music and Drama.
Your career is a series of memorable encounters, the first being
that of Michael Verhoeven, who identifies and engages you as
actor for La Rose blanche in 1982. You are therefore pursuing a
double career between theatre, where you create yourself a specialty in the
Shakespearian repertoire, and filming for television, then
for the big screen: Die Schaukel, by Percy Adlon, then you
Michael Verhoeven with Ma mère courage, as an SS officer – un
role that will pursue you! , against the backdrop of genocide in Hungary.
Another important meeting: that of Constantin Costa-Gavras, who will be
decisive for launching your career truly
international. You certainly participated in Taking Sides. The case
Furtwängler from Istvan Szabo, with Harvey Keitel, but it’s Amen,
in 2002, which has a great impact with many awards,
which reveals you to the world in the role of the repentant SS officer. You play
the same year in the remake of Solaris by Soderbergh, then you
join Costa-Gavras again in 2005 with Le Couperet, where you
are confronted with José Garcia in a contemporary satire of the
employment and its dematerialized cruelties, made of ties, many’s-
curriculum vitae. You multiply
the episodes of Tatort, the famous German television series,
which earned you a prize for best actor for your performance of a serial
In 2006, he was the suspicious head of the Stasi culture department,
Anton Grubitz, who you play in Florian’s Life of Others
Henckel von Donnersmarck alongside Ulrich Mühe, which brings you the
Best Supporting Actor at the German Film Festival.
Happy coincidence that Helma Sanders-Brahms is with us tonight:
in 2007 you play Robert Schumann in his film Clara. Then come
two Franco-Belgian films, the disturbing Where is the hand of the headless man
where you are found alongside Cécile de France, and Séraphine de Martin
Provost, where you play the German art collector in exile who, in
under the spell of Yolande Moreau, brings you again a
best actor award.
In this ubiquity, you do not abandon the films
young and talented Florian Gallensberger entrusted you with the
title role of John Rabe, named after the German businessman who saved
thousands of Chinese from the 1937 Nanking massacres. The film is
award-winning awards, including, for your part, the price of
best actor at the Bavarian Film Festival in 2009. You’re back
also during the Second World War and the Nazi genocide in
Vaterspiel, by Michael Glawogger.
The story and Ulrich Tukur is also, of course, the superb Ruban
Blanc, Michael Haneke, Palme d'or in Cannes. In the role of the baron
Armin, you embody the moral authority of a company about to
disappear, and that children try to apprehend through its screens
of violence, its arbitrariness and its inertia.
Ubiquity always: in very different genres, we’ll see you soon
in Largo Winch II or in the Pig of Gaza, where you will play
a diplomat. Moreover, there are many who listen to the voice
Ulrich Tukur in audiobooks – privilege reserved for
whose stamp is recognizable among all.
Ulrich Tukur is also the cabaret man, singer and accordionist
who has been performing for several years with his group Ulrich Tukur and
the Rythmus Boys» - 5 albums on the charts, with as first title
Meine Sehnsucht ist die Strandbar - what I would translate very
in a wink at Helma Sanders-Brahms, by Under the
pavements of my Sehnsucht, the beach».
From comedy to historical works, you are on the screens of Europe
and the world, one of the most remarkable and most
endearing. For its greatest happiness, French cinema often has the
chance to enjoy your culture, humour and versatility.
It is also through your talent that the existence of a
ambitious European cinema.
Dear Ulrich Tukur, on behalf of the French Republic, we
Let us present the insignia of Chevalier in the order of Arts and Letters.