Harun Farocki: How to Live in the FRG

How to Live in the FRG (Leben – BRD), Harun Farocki, 78’, FRG,  ZDF 20.2.1990, OV with English subtitles

Harun Farocki writes: “In 1989, the production year of the film, we recorded enacted scenes in 46 locations. These scenes were from psycho-dramas, socio-dramas and dramas of other academic disciplines. We filmed in schools, government offices, training centres and clinics, when life was being played out - to demonstrate, instruct, practice, invoke, overcome something.” With his incomparable interest in the worlds and processes of work and his equally incomparable flair for dramaturgy, Harun Farocki sets out in this documentary to explore the interfaces between reality and fiction that pervade our lives. A kind of virtual biography emerges, which today, in the age of YouTube tutorials, could easily be continued.

Harun Farocki (1944–2014) was a German filmmaker, author, artist and producer. With over 90 film works, he had a profound impact on essay film in Germany and abroad. He was author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik. His fictional and documentary films were shown in cinemas worldwide and awarded a Silver Leopard in Locarno, among others. From 1996, Farocki’s works were increasingly exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, including the Documenta and Venice Biennale. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, he made Something Becomes Evident (1984) and How to Live in the Federal Republic of Germany (1990). Both films screened in the Berlinale Forum, where Farocki was a frequent guest, including Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1989) and In Comparison (2009).