7.9/10
58
2 user 2 critic

How to Live in the German Federal Republic (1990)

Leben - BRD (original title)

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Documentary examines the 'blind spot' of the evaluators of aerial footage of the IG Farben industrial plant taken by the Americans in 1944.

Director: Harun Farocki
Stars: Ulrike Grote, Harun Farocki
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The author Michel Houellebecq is abducted by three amateur kidnappers.

Director: Guillaume Nicloux
Stars: Michel Houellebecq, Mathieu Nicourt, Maxime Lefrançois
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-fen Hsin, Lawrence Ko
War | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Harun Farocki
Stars: Gerd Volker Bussäus, Harun Farocki, Caroline Gremm
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A kindergarten teacher discovers in a five year-old child a prodigious gift for poetry. Amazed and inspired by this young boy, she decides to protect his talent in spite of everyone.

Director: Nadav Lapid
Stars: Sarit Larry, Avi Shnaidman, Lior Raz
Phoenix II (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A disfigured Holocaust survivor sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust.

Director: Christian Petzold
Stars: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Nina Kunzendorf
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that's been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the... See full summary »

Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin
Dheepan (2015)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Harun Farocki
Stars: Ingemo Engström, Jeff Layton, Renée Schlesier
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1990 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

How to Live in the German Federal Republic  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sterile practice
7 August 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

My only previous experience of Farocki prior to watching Leben - BRD (How to live in the FRG) was Die Bewerbung (The Interview). The subject of that documentary film was the preparing of people who had difficulty finding work for job interviews. The movie highlighted how unnatural it was to be in a situation where you had to sell yourself (the training provides promotion of an unnatural self-awareness), where you have to project a compliant image for the Procrustean corporate scrutiniser. Leben - BRD expands on this limited scenario to provide a number of training scenarios. This includes training people to kill, provide obstetric care, separate those involved in domestic arguments etc. All this is interspersed with factory images of equipment being tested for longevity (for example a car door being opened and closed a thousand times by machine). It all comes off as quite banal and sterile programming. There is no room for personality, there is no room for personal connection. I've heard how feeling is something that has been outsourced to professionals (psychiatrists), here the psychiatrists are just as impersonal, running a child through a quick-march battery of standardised tests, getting a patient to draw a time series graph of the progression of their phobia, incapable of providing what the patient needs, a shoulder to cry on, someone to hug and understand.

The film is quite challenging, whilst in Die Bewerbung it is quite straightforward for one to draw criticisms on the requirements forced upon individuals by corporate culture and professionalism, in Leben - BRD this is more tricky, not many people are going to criticise the training of midwifes in techniques designed to aid healthy birth, unless they have the extreme opinions of someone like Hermann Nitsch and believe in bloody, violent and cathartic spectacles.

As someone who has participated in role play courses I can say that I find them deeply uncomfortable, and more, I find others not finding them so even more uncomfortable. I think even if you grant that there are ostensible benefits of these courses, they do produce such monotonous desensitised behaviour, and the question is, who really benefits? Christopher Pavsek wrote a quite brilliant review of Leben-BRD, which he labelled as Farocki's best movie, back in 2008, in an article covering Farocki's entire career, for the Australian magazine Rouge. I recommend that you ferret that out for further reading as he quite rightly points to the humour in the film and also the presence of "micro-narratives" with very apt examples.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page