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To write his bestseller "Verschwende Deine Jugend", Jürgen Teipel spent three years conducting interviews with some 100 protagonists of the German punk and new wave scenes. A platform was thus given to bands like Deutsch-Amerikanische-Freundschaft (DAF), Palais Schaumburg, Fehlfarben, Der Plan, Die Krupps, and Einstürzende Neubauten; to artists socialized through punk, like Ben Becker and Markus Oehlen; and to writers like Thomas Meinecke and Peter Glaser – all put together in a novel-like text that was seen as nothing less than the story of a whole generation: polyphonic, multi-perspectival, and with innumerable stories.

For "wasting ones youth.doc" Jürgen Teipel and the media/computer specialist Sigrid Harder took recourse to the same method. In an absolutely punk do-it-yourself process, they used a computer to edit the original recordings of interviews and more than 400 original photos, often found in attics or cellars, into a oneand-a-half-hour epic. Its raw edges, suffused with background noises, also convey much about the usually completely informal situations in which the interviews were conducted. What results is a rhythm, a roar, a rumbling, a motion that makes it physically clear how the punk explosion of 1977 made a German-language pop culture possible for the first time, how the music affected other art forms, and how this flourishing sub-culture finally found its end in the industry-controlled Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) and the imitative punk stances of Nena and Hubert Kah – only to be rediscovered by succeeding generations, becoming a component of pop culture that could no longer be disregarded.

Screenplay, production: Jürgen Teipel, Sigrid Harder

Stills: ar/gee Gleim, Carmen Knoebel, Franz Bielmeier, George Nicolaidis, Michael von Gimbut, Sabine Schwabroh and others

With: Blixa Bargeld, Gudrun Gut, Inga Humpe, Markus Oehlen, Peter Hein, Gabi Delgado and others

Format: DigiBeta PAL, Color

Running time: 87 min., 25 frames/sec.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur