Germany | 1986 | German with English subtitles | 95 minutes | NA
directed by RALF KIRSTEN
Käthe Kollwitz was 47 years old and already a well-established artist in Germany and abroad when Peter, her youngest son, volunteerd to join the German army in World War I—and was killed two weeks later. This tragedy changed Kollwitz's life and art forever. Always politically active, she became a radical pacifist. In her art, she reflected on her son and the meaning of war. After signing a petition against the Nazis, she was excluded from the Prussian Academy of Arts and her art was labeled "degenerate." Lonely and ill, she spent the last days of her life in Dresden and died at the age of 78, before the end of World War II.
Ralf Kirsten, director of The Lost Angel, an homage to German artist Ernst Barlach (which screened at LACMA last year), used episodes from Kollwitz's unpublished letters and diaries to fit them together in a mosaic-like portrait.