The Last of England, Derek Jarman, 87’, UK / FRG, ZDF 8.9.1987, OV with German subtitles

In 1986, Derek Jarman sits in his London flat and looks out of the window: “Drunken derelicts jitterbug through the traffic, smack dealers push dirty children in prams which barely conceal the junk. Round the corner Margaret Thatcher’s dream children, rich on style, gorge themselves at the Brasserie and spill exhausted into the morning from night clubs. What scenes from what films are left to film in a world of nuclear secrets, the acid and radioactive rain falls as I watch, and the children’s children mutate in the debris of hope into multi-coloured fungi.” From his family’s amateur films, from documentary and staged scenes, shot on Super-8, Jarman creates a cinematic poem. Queer, radical and unsettling, he directs his personal swan song on the “dead sea of post-industrial decline”.

Derek Jarman (1942–1994) was a well-known British filmmaker, artist and gay rights activist. He created experimental film works, many with autobiographical references, which are among the most important films of independent European and queer cinema. His films have been screened and awarded prizes in Berlin, Cannes, Locarno and Venice, as well as in museums such as Centre Pompidou, MoMA and Tate Modern. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, he made The Last of England (1987) and The Garden (1990). Both featured in the Berlinale Forum, as did Edward II (1992). In 2021, silent green dedicated the exhibition The Garden – Cinematics of the Soil to Derek Jarman.