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L’état et moi

Still from the film "L’état et moi" by Max Linz. Two women in fantasy uniforms sit on a stage. One holds an old-fashioned rifle in her hand.
© Markus Koob, SchrammFilm, Salzgeber
  • Director

    Max Linz

  • Germany / 2022
    85 min. / Original version with German and English subtitles

  • Original language


In L’ÉTAT ET MOI, Max Linz invents a composer named Hans List, who fought on the barricades of the Paris Commune in 1871 and now wakes up to a new life in the present, moving through Berlin-Mitte sans papiers. His composition “Les Misérables” is being rehearsed at the State Opera, which he appears in incognito as an extra. Sophie Rois plays two roles in the film, that of List and that of his nemesis, judge Praetorius-Camusot. Completing the ensemble are an awkward legal intern, a Berlin-dialect-speaking museum guard (the inimitable Kerstin Grassmann), and two authoritarian personalities.
Linz works with puns on names and wordplay. He enjoys slapstick as well as breaks in style and mistaken identities, with a penchant for chains of unlikely coincidence and pulling out all the stops, employing the cruder comedic registers too. But beneath all the screen-filling nonsense, things get serious: how are class issues and cultural production connected? What is to be made of soft power cultural diplomacy? And to what tradition do the police and the judiciary belong in Germany? The film deals with all this and more. As Sophie Rois sings tenderly: “I may have failed, but red won’t be derailed.” (Cristina Nord)

Max Linz, born in 1984 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He initially studied film studies and philosophy, followed by film directing. Max Linz works as an author and a director. From 2019 to 2021, he was guest professor for stage design at the Berlin University of the Arts. His films Ich will mich nicht künstlich aufregen (2014) and Weitermachen Sanssouci (2019) were screened at the Berlinale Forum.

Production Anton Kaiser, Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber. Production company SCHRAMM FILM Koerner Weber Kaiser (Berlin, Germany). Written and directed by Max Linz. Cinematography Markus Koob. Editing Kathrin Krottenthaler. Music Stefan Will, Fabian Reifarth. Sound design Adrian Baumeister, Henry Uhl. Sound Etienne Haug. Production design Robin Metzer. Costumes Nina Kroschinske. Make-up Sabine Schumann. Assistant director Lukas Hofmann. With Sophie Rois, Jeremy Mockridge, Martha Mechow, Bernhard Schütz, Hauke Heumann, Bernd Moss, Sarah Ralfs.

Films: 2011: Die Finanzen des Großherzogs Radikant Film / The Finances of the Grand Duke Radicant Film (33 min.). 2012: Das Oberhausener Gefühl – Eine Depressentation in zehn Folgen (68 min.). 2014: Ich will mich nicht künstlich aufregen / Asta Upset (84 min., Forum 2014). 2019: Weitermachen Sanssouci (80 min., Forum 2019). 2022: L'état et moi (85 min.).

Bonus Material

Essay and Discussion

  • Still from the film "L’état et moi" by Max Linz. A court scene: A man sits in the witness stand and speaks. In the background we see a female lawyer, next to her a woman in an old-fashioned uniform jacket.


    In “System Critique with Slapstick,” Ekkehard Knörer writes about Max Linz and a new school of Berlin DFFB graduates that is as political as it is form-conscious.

  • Still from the film "L’état et moi" by Max Linz. Five people in an opera box follow the stage action with interest.


    Max Linz and Michael Baute discuss L’ÉTAT ET MOI.

Forum Program 2022

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