IFFI 09 - Interview with Roland Reber

by Amit R Agarwal

German filmmaker Roland Reber

Roland Reber, the name strikes an immediate connect with cine-astes who follow world cinema for he is the director of such controversial films as 24/7: The Passion of Life (2005) and Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln - Angels with Dirty Wings (2009).

Roland Reber is in India for a retrospective of his films at IFFI 09, as the festival paid tribute to the director at its 40th edition.

Reber started off as an actor in Bochum (with Zadek), Zuerich Essen (with Heyme), Dusseldorf and the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen after finishing his acting school. He wrote more than twenty theater plays and scripts as well as text and lyrics.

Though, as Reber himself puts it, "I enjoy my work as director the most."

Founder of WTP international, Reber directed his first feature "Ihr habt meine Seele gebogen wie einen schönen Tänzer" in 1978. Surprisingly, his second feature "Dann musst Du halt ein Mädchen werden" came in quite late - 1998.

"Nothing really excited me for 20 years", Reber gave the reason.

Having finished 8 films since 1998 - Reber loves Angels With Dirty Wings the most - "I have a special fondness for my latest work", Reber quipped.

The film with its explicit sexuality and subject-matter drew controversy in Europe. "Some critics have flayed it and other have loved it", Reber chuckled, "It is for the audiences to decide and assess my film and the art in it."

The film drew a mixed response at its screening at International Film Festival of India, but most of the audiences revelled in the deep meaning the film had.

Having received the PRESIDENT`S AWARD for the best feature at the CINE 2000 Festival in Ajijic, Mexico for "Das Zimmer" (2000); Reber talked about his film-style. "Movie-making is like a conversation for me I pose questions to the audience and wait for the answers."

On being asked how did his latest Angels With Dirty Wings came about? Reber was candid enough to tell that it was partly due to a personal mishap that happened in 2008. Reber was paralyzed one side of his body. His commitment for cinema shows from the fact that he fought this health-issue and overcame it to make Angels With Dirty Wings in less than 7 weeks!

On being queried about his next film, Reber smiled, "I have two ideas; but most probably I am going with the one based in India."

Lovers of cinema will sure look forward to see Roland Reber film in India and make an exciting new film.


Interview with Marina Anna Eich
Interview with Antje Nikola Monning