Jump directly to the page contents

In der Wüste

Photo from the shooting of "In der Wüste" by Rafael Fuster Pardo. A man looks at himself in the mirror and checks his clothing.
© Jaime B. Navarro
  • Director

    Rafael Fuster Pardo

  • Federal Republic of Germany / 1987
    70 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    German, Spanish

Winter in West Berlin in the mid 1980s. Two artists, Fernando and Timur, share a dump of a flat off a gloomy courtyard in Kreuzberg. The Wall looms nearby, the refrigerator is empty, the ceiling leaks, and Chilean-in-exile Fernando is in such a funk that he can’t even bring himself to open a letter from home.
Rafael Fuster Pardo chose to base his feature debut IN DER WÜSTE on a story by Chilean author Antonio Skármeta and to work with a powerful ensemble of non-professional actors whose own biographies are marked by (post-)migration. With economy and precision, Fuster Pardo paints a picture of the life of a starving artist. Berlin appears as a desert of wastelands and rejection, as a city that for all its affluence is not free and egalitarian, but rather restrictive and cold. Not everyone is granted entry. And yet the film never allows its bright mood to darken; after all, crises are there so that we can distract ourselves from them. In the lead-up to Christmas, the city manages to get back on good terms with Fernando and Timur when they attend a Jocelyn B. Smith concert: for minutes on end, her performance of “Midnight Lover” electrifies both characters and audience alike. (Biene Pilavci)

Rafael Fuster Pardo, born in 1951 in Barcelona, Spain. After training in construction design, he went on to study film and works as a writer, editor, cinematographer, director and lecturer. After co-directing two films, In der Wüste was his first solo work as director.

Production company Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB) (Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany). Director Rafael Fuster Pardo. Written by Host Stasiak based on the short story with the same title by Antonio Skármeta. Cinematography Rafael Fuster Pardo. Editing Rafael Fuster Pardo. Sound Juan José Fuster Pardo, Michael de Groot. Assistant director Herrmann-Josef Greuel. Production manager Hans Willy Müller. With Claudio Caceres Molina, Mustafa Sagili, Adriana Altaras, Meric Temucin, Walter Alich, Ester Andradi, Hannelore Elskamp, Uwe Otterbein, Eva Steidel, Gino Merendino.

Films: 1979: Music for Millions (co-directed by Horst Stasiak, 20 min.). 1980: No Place To Go (co-directed by Horst Stasiak, 83 min.). 1987: In der Wüste. 1995: Voglio dire una cosa, assolutamente, che sentano tutti! (34 min.). 2001: Beton streicheln – Eine Begegnung mit Engelbert Kremser (99 min.).

Bonus Material

Film Reviews and Photo Gallery

  • Photo from the shooting of "In der Wüste" by Rafael Fuster Pardo. Two men sitting at a table, drinking coffee and having a good time.

    Film Review

    Review by Jan Gympel first published in the daily newspaper “taz”, October 1987.

  • Photo from the shooting of "In der Wüste" by Rafael Fuster Pardo. A black-and-white picture of three men with a camera dolly on tracks.

    Film Review

    Review by Dietrich Kuhlbrodt first published in the magazine “Szene Hamburg”, August 1988.

Forum Special 2022

Funded by:

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