22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
LFFI18_Vorwärts immer_Auswahlbild_klein

Vorwärts immer!

Franziska Meletzky

“That’s not him.” – “Yes, it is!”

Erich Honecker dreams. Of a peaceful socialism. And this needs to be translated into action – at least it does if the East-Berlin theatre group around the highly gifted Honecker-imitator Otto Wolf has anything to say. Because, as he rehearses the satire “Vorwärts immer!” (Forwards always!) under strict secrecy, the reality in Oktober 1989 looks like this: firing orders in Leipzig. As Otto discovers that his pregnant daughter Anne wants to go there, of all places, to get a forged passport to illegally leave for the West, Otto must act. Honecker gave the order, so he can reverse it. Or Otto can. On this fateful day, the real Honecker is on the hunt in Wandlitz, so the way to the Central Committee seems open. That is, if it wasn’t for Mielke and Krenz who are sawing at Erich’s chair. And Margot Honecker, who comes closer to Otto than he likes…

Counterrevolution through dramatic improvisation of a politician’s double: Lubitsch sends his greetings! With a glorious playing, versatile star ensemble, a feeling for funny dialogues and comical timing, Franziska Meletzky achieves a not quite serious history lesson, that was nominated for the Hessischer Filmpreis for good reason. Funded by the Land Hessen, the DDR gets an additional Frankfurt atmosphere: the I.G. Farben campus looks great as the Central Committee’s seat. 

“And on these lines of the historical, VORWÄRTS IMMER! adds a gloriously absurd plot that relies on the not so far-fetched idea that a theatre in the DDR put a play on, on the 9th of October, in which Erich Honecker dreams of a different Socialism. The actor Jörg Schüttauf, who makes a feast of the role from the first sentence onward, awakens memories of almost-forgotten traditions of German comedy.“ - Bernd Rebhandl, FAZ


“Franziska Meletzky’s political comedy is rooted in tradition between Ernst Lubitsch’s SEIN ODER NICHTSEIN and the German DDR reappraisal in the style of GOODBYE LENIN. […] Jörg Schüttauf shines in the lead, his portrayal of Honecker always balancing between persiflage and imitation and yet never exposing the figure to ridicule. Decór, costumes and make-up are authentic, the dialogues are full of wit, VORWÄRTS IMMER! is successful, cheeky mischief.” - FBW, Preciate ‘Valuable’

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Franziska Meletzky
Year D 2017
Duration 90 min
Language German language
Production Philipp Weinges, Günter Knarr
Cast Jörg Schüttauf, Josefine Preuß, Jacob Matschenz, Devid Striesow, Marc Benjamin, André Jung,Hedi Kriegeskotte, Alexander Schubert and more
Camera Bella Halben
Script Philipp Weinges, Günter Knarr, Franziska Meletzky, Markus Thebe

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