Documentary Films


A film by Benedikt Schwarzer

In Coproduction with WDR and BR
Supported by BKM, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderungsanstalt, München

Leo Wagner was a Member of Parliament for the Conservatives (CSU), a close confidante of Franz Josef Strauß and a dazzling figure in Cologne’s nightlife. He left his family behind with many questions and open wounds.

His grandson, the film director Benedikt Schwarzer, embarks on the search for a grandfather who he never really got to know. He finds contemporary witnesses, pimps and lovers, even Leo‘s commanding officer in the Stasi. His party friends from the time remain curiously silent.

The attractive appearance of Leo’s textbook career and picture-book family in the election brochures is deceptive. His marriage was ruined. He became involved in dubious business. And evidence is being confirmed that Leo Wagner was the crucial traitor who led to the failure of the CDU / CSU’s vote of no confidence against Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1972 – celebrated by the Stasi.

His life still casts a shadow over his family. It has taken a long time for his daughter to be able to speak about the past. The candy-coloured Super-8 films of the 1960s and 1970s are viewed in a completely new light.

Benedikt Schwarzer‘s research into Leo Wagner opens up an unembellished view oflook at the contradictions of his generation and the sordid underbelly of the Bonn Republic.

Author & Director: Benedikt Schwarzer
Producer: Carl-Ludwig Rettinger
Editors: Jutta Krug, WDR I Dr. Claudia Gladziejewski, BR
Line Producer: Yvonne Gottschalk
Image composition: Julian Krubasik
Montage: Natascha Cartolaro
Sound: Philip Hutter
Addition Image composition: Laura Kansy, Fabio Stoll, Lars Barthel
Addition Sound: Nic Nagel, Cornelia Böhm, Michael Arens, Filipp Forberg, Flo Streitwieser
Music: Alexander Maschke, Michael Lauterbach
Mastering & title design: OASYS Digital Post Production
Grading & Compositing: Nicholas Coleman

Ruth Schwarzer
Alfred Sauter
Peter Miroschnikoff
Horst Kopp
Dr. Andreas Grau
Dr. Georg Herbstritt
Prof. Dr. Müller-Enbergs
Richard Thiel

World Premiere
DOK.fest München 2018

ARRI pitch.award 2014
Composition Grant Award, München 2017
DOK.fest München 2018, 2. place Peoples Choice Award, nominated: FFF-Grantaward
Film Festival Cologne 2018, nominated: Film Award NRW
Kasseler Dokfest 2018
German Director Award Metropolis, Best Editorial Management (Claudia Gladziejewski), nominated: Best Director Feature Documentary 2018
Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award, nominated
Starter Film Award of the City of Munich
German Documentary Film Award, nominated
Moving History Festival of the historic Films Potsdam, nominated: CLIO-Award