Archive of films Free Will / Der freie Wille

2005, 163 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2006

The excellent Jürgen Vogel (familiar to Czech audiences primarily from the film Life Is All You Get) gives a convincing, authentic performance as a sexual deviant who, despite the help of the girlfriend destiny has put his way, vainly struggles with his uncontrollable aberration.


Theo has been locked up in a psychiatric hospital for years. His dread of women has now transformed itself into dangerous aggression – he attacks women, and before he gets his sexual gratification, he traumatises his victims even further by brutally assaulting them. The film opens with one such scene, so the viewer is given no choice in his opinion of Theo. As the story unfolds, however, our estimation of him gradually shifts in the opposite direction. Up close, this young man ceases to be a perverse brute, and more of a pitiable and desperate man, vainly trying to gather the strength of will to overcome his destructive instincts. 27-year-old Nettie genuinely wants to help him, she has also experienced being an outcast, but it turns out that the will invoked by everyone is simply not enough for the task. The film’s merits are its raw documentary style and the stunning performance of Jürgen Vogel, whose Theo surprisingly forces strong compassion from the audience. It was this performance which won him the Silver Bear at Berlin in 2006 for Artistic Contribution.

About the director

Matthias Glasner

Matthias Glasner (b. 1965 in Hamburg) is a director, screenwriter, cameraman, editor, actor, musician and producer who, in these professions, has worked with a number of German filmmakers. In Germany he is also known as a musician in the band Homesweethome, and he applies his talent as a composer of music for TV and distribution films. In 1996 he founded Schwarzweiss Filmproduktion, together with actor Jürgen Vogel. He has directed for TV on numerous occasions, both independent film projects and individual parts of various TV series. He debuted with the film Die Mediocren (1995) about four people whose friendship is threatened by their suspicion of one of them. Fandango (2000) tells the story of the girl Shirley who, instead of her dream of a career in modelling, turns to crime instead. His latest film, The Free Will (2005), also deals with a disturbed and dispossessed individual.

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Matthias Glasner
Screenplay: Matthias Glasner, Judith Angerbauer, Jürgen Vogel
Dir. of Photography: Matthias Glasner, Ingo Scheel
Editor: Mona Bräuer, Julia Wiedwald
Producer: Frank Döhmann, Matthias Glasner, Christian Granderath, Jürgen Vogel
Production: Colonia Media Filmproduktion GmbH
Cast: Jürgen Vogel, Sabine Timoteo, André Hennicke, Manfred Zapatka


Stefanie Zeitler


Thorsten Ritter

Sales Agent

Thorsten Schaumann

Festival Organizer


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