Der verlorene Vater (The Lost Father) 

A filmic performance by Thomas Martius et al.


Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin

Sunday, 6 September 2020, 6 pm 

Please note the hygiene rules for COVID-19 given on site.

Tickets: 12 € / 10 € discounted 
Running Time: 135 minutes 
Original version with subtitles (German/English)
instagram: @derverlorenevater

Incorporating vivid, amateur 8mm film footage, the live performance “Der verlorene Vater” (The Lost Father) traces a fictional family story that spans from the USA and Germany to the former Yugoslavia. The grainy Super 8 material was filmed sparingly in the 1960s and 70s—without autofocus and microphones, in an era before home video and the internet. The snippets of past realities from three very different countries show surprising similarities – for example, it was usually the father who stood behind the camera as the director of family life. That is no longer the case today. In the theater, the live stage performance is enhanced by contemporary cinematic film sequences; old scenes are brought to life and confronted with new interpretations. Change becomes clear—with all the baggage it brings. Documentary fiction at the interface of film and theater constitutes a complex attempt at assimilating trauma. 

 About the content 

SELMA, born in New York in the 90s, has a few problems and goes on a search for her origins. On the cinema’s stage, she uncovers family secrets she knew nothing about. “Silence eats through all the layers of the body and into the next generation.” She’s assisted in her search by RICHARD SCHÖR, the researcher, FRAU KATTEL, her therapist, and TONY, the musical boyfriend attempting to follow her.

The ensemble is augmented by video: STAN, the American grandfather, presents 8mm recordings from the Vietnam War that have never been seen before. His ex-wife EMMA from Montana, a former student of Mary Wigman, offers a model of freer movement. Their son MIKE (Selma’s father) brings a new, critical perspective to the 8mm shots that show him as a child. His wife HANA, Selma’s mother, fled Yugoslavia in 1993 and since then has successfully pursued the American dream—a dream which Selma questions. In Berlin, Selma meets HARTMUT, who saw Dresden burning in 1945. Hartmut’s 8mm films show not only the ZDF hit parade with Bata Illic, but also GDR tanks on Alexanderplatz. DJULA, Hana’s cousin, presents family films from Sarajevo, Mostar, and above all from Banja Luka, Hana’s birthplace.


On Stage:
Tania Feurich: SELMA
Petra Steuber: Playwright, FRAU KATTEL
René Ritterbusch: Text contributor, RICHARD SCHÖR
Lutz Gallmeister: Musician, TONY

On Video: 
Renata Britvec: Text contributor, DJULA
Emma Lewis Thomas: Text contributor, EMMA
Paul Wagner: STAN
Daniel Mufson: Text contributor, MIKE
Tania Feurich: HANA

Production Team:
Thomas Martius: Concept, Author, Videographer, Editor, Director
Florian Brossmann: Technical Direction
Benjamin Bayer: Camera Operator for Hotel Scenes
Marion Levy: Image and Film Rights
Caterina Veronesi: Make-Up for Hana

8 mm Material from: 
Goran Barac, Detlev Höselbarth, Ancus Martius, Ulrich Martius, Paul Wagner

Digitization of 8 mm Films:

Thanks to:
Tatjana Albrecht, Ulrike Boldt, Silke Ewald, Stefan Frohloff, Gerald Grote, Denhart v. Harling, Detlev and Karin Höselbarth, Hotel Indigo am Ku’damm, Carola Lehmann, Mario Loose, Mario Mance, the Martius family, Jeffrey Nashan, Claus Oppermann, Die Perücke Berlin, Marc Pfretzschner, Emma Lewis Thomas, Tatjana Tica and Goran, the Wagner family, Wohnung Funk

Thomas Martius

“Der verlorene Vater” 2019 was supported by the Funding for Individual Projects (Einzelprojektförderung) offered by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe (Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa) of Berlin. The 2020’s performance in Babylon’s large movie theater is financed by ticket sale.