January 22, 2020

"In the Trenches of History - the author Ernst Jünger" - 2019 documentary with English subtitles!

Here's a decent documentary film on the German Goethe Prize author Ernst Jünger, produced by rbb/ARTE. i went to considerable trouble to create good English subtitles - hope they'll allow more non-German speakers to learn something of this remarkable thinker.



Source: ARTE.DE (2019) https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/082773-...

One of the better documentaries on Ernst Jünger, this relatively more balanced production is unfortunately only a partial picture - and not in the sense of being skewed by the usual ignorance level and prejudices - but because it barely covers until 1960, until his move to Wilflingen.

It thus entirely leaves out the critical mature works and themes of Jünger: Eumeswil and the anarch, the Forest Flight (Der Waldgang), The Wall of Time (An der Zeitmauer), Aladdin's Problem, Approaches: Drugs and Inebriation, and much more. In this respect, we optimisticslly view it as Part One, and hope for at least a Part Two to come.

The film presents contrasting views on Jünger from Germanistic professors and other experts. The fairest and most informed contributions come - quite logically - from the two real experts, his recent biographers Heimo Schwilk and Helmuth Kiesel. Some of the other "experts" voice the usual cliched complaints but then almost visibly reluctantly admit his literary greatness. Naturally, it is a simplification of a highly complex person, but perhaps more should not be expected in one hour, given the length and eventfulness of Jünger's life and the complexity of his thought.

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