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Film still from "Reproduktion" by Katharina Pethke. It shows a naked woman with two babies in her arms, sitting on a stool. People are standing around her at easels, drawing her.
Still from REPRODUKTION by Katharina Pethke © Fünferfilm 2024
  • Director

    Katharina Pethke

  • Germany / 2024
    111 min / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


How much does a place reveal about its history? How much can forbears and their descendants know about one another? And how much continuity is contained within progress? When Katharina Pethke became a professor at Hamburg’s University of Fine Arts, it set in motion a process of reflection and research. Before, she had studied there, and so too had her mother and grandmother. Each of the women believed they were breaking new ground and yet, consciously or unconsciously, through stance or in protest, continued to carry on a legacy. This essay film examines the three generations caught between social determination and artistic ambition, self-will and motherhood, production and reproduction. The university building and its sole sculpture by a woman artist purchased by urban planner Fritz Schumacher, “Frauenschicksal” (Women’s Fate), become a mirror as well as showcase for enduring ambivalences. A virtuosic and astute work from an established filmmaker, Reproduktion explores questions of feminine and artistic identity through the lens of Pethke’s personal experience, interweaving her family biography with the architectural history of the art and media campus. (Irina Bondas)

Katharina Pethke, born in Hamburg in 1979, she studied art history, German studies and visual communication in Hamburg and later at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. From 2012 to 2019, she was Professor at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts. With Louisa she won the German Short Film Award in Gold and a Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig. Reproduktion is her first feature-length film.

Production Julia Cöllen, Frank Scheuffele, Karsten Krause. Production company Fünferfilm (Hamburg, Germany). Director Katharina Pethke. Screenplay Katharina Pethke. Cinematography Christoph Rohrscheidt. Editing Simon Quack. Music Nika Son. Sound design Lukas Brandes. Sound Timo Selengia.

World Sales Pluto Film

Films: 2011: Louisa (documentary). 2016: Jedermann / Everyman (short film). 2019: Dazwischen Elsa / Elsa In-Between (short film). 2021: Jedermann und ich / Everyman and I (documentary). 2022: Uncanny Me (documentary). 2024: Reproduktion / Reproduction.

Bonus Material

Director’s Statement and Interview

  • Film still from "Reproduktion" by Katharina Pethke. It shows a close-up of a hand holding photos. The front photo is a black and white picture of a child and a woman.

    Director’s Statement

    Katharina Pethke on three generations of female artists in her family and what pregnancy meant for them
  • Film still from "Reproduktion" by Katharina Pethke. It shows a woman working with a drill on a white wall.


    Katharina Pethke talks about how her own life became the starting point for a multi-layered essay film

Funded by:

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