Der Bomberpilot (1970) Werner Schroeter


Der Bomberpilot tells the story of three eccentric women in Germany during the Nazi period who try to become show stars in America after the war.

In Der Bomberpilot Schroeter displays a similar disrespect for historical ‘truth’ in his treatment of post Second World War Germany. In this film he tells the stories of three fictional women who had performed in Nazi revues during the war.

One of “Schroeter’s most visionary movies” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice), Der Bomberpilot anticipates Fassbinder’s BRD Trilogy (The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola, Veronika Voss) in its tale of three women surviving from the end of World War II through the Adenauer era. Schroeter signals his irreverent attitude toward the German artist’s duty to “work through” the legacy of Nazism by opening his grotesquely funny film with a trio of women (including Magdalena Montezuma) in crimson and black lace corsets, high-stepping and Sieg Heil-ing in front of a swastika flag. The women dream of becoming singers and dancers, and plan to travel to America to lecture on racial integration, but their plans go awry. Outfitted with Schroeter’s by now obligatory visits to a cemetery and a misty river — when Montezuma, never more alabaster, learns of Hitler’s death, she throws herself into the water — Der Bomberpilot also features a cameo by the director as a pony-tailed suitor who brings roses to his pastry-shop inamorata and dies in the bargain. “Probably the first German film to engage with the ‘cultural myth’ of Nazism” (Ulrike Sieglohr, Film Comment).

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