22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
Als Susan Sontag im Publikum saß

Als Susan Sontag im Publikum saß

RP Kahl

50 years ago the writer Norman Mailer entered a combative as well as witty debate at the New York Townhall – with the four writers and activists Jacqueline Deballos, Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston and Diana Trelling. In the audience, none other than the infamous intellectual Susan Sontag is present. “The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art - and, by analogy, our own experience - more, rather than less, real to us.” writes the great intellectual Susan Sontag in her famous essay “Against Interpretation”. While not art, RP Jahl makes a meaningful landmark of “feminism” more real to us in his re-enactment-film by transposing the legendary New York Townhall debate of feminist scholars into our present. To manage this, he gives the film a meta-level: he re-stages the debate as a play and at the same time openly shows the controversial discussions that his actors and he himself hold during rehearsals: on their characters, power, womanhood, sexuality and feminism.

Documentary feature film or acted documentary: Als Susan Sonntag im Publikum saß is a plea for debate culture full of relish.

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction RP Kahl
Country Germany
Year 2021
Duration 86 min
Language Original language
Production RP Kahl, Christopher Cornelsen, Torsten Neumann / Studio RPK, Cornelsen Films GmbH Independent Partners Film
Co-production Christoph Gampl, Angela Schmitt-Gläser
Cast Saralisa Volm, Luise Helm, Heike-Melba Fendel, Celine Yildirim, RP Kahl
Camera Elena Friedrich, Markus Hirner
Script Saralisa Volm, RP Kahl
Editing Angelo Wemmje
Sound Design Jürgen Schulz

Opening film - achtung berlin Filmfestival

Als Susan Sontag im Publikum saß celebrated its world premiere at Filmfest Oldenburg and opened the Achtung Berlin Festivals International Cinema section.

About the director

Director RP Kahl currently teaches at hfg Offenbach. He is part of „team turanskyj“ – a group consisting of filmmaker friends of Prof. Tatjana Turanskyj, who spontaneously decided to keep her lecture going for a semester after her death. The co-producer of the film is Angela Schmitt Gläser from Frankfurt.

Press Reviews

„Director RP Kahl took a big risk with his almost-documentary – but these 90 minutes fascinate. Kahls film is a grand document of the formation of women’s movements. It’s an experimental format on what debate culture should be like: rebellious, polemic and factual but never insulting or egocentric. Welcome to the circus of intellectual momentum.“ (NWZ)

(In presence of the director)

Regional Feature Film Program