Andreas Christoph Schmidt - Andreas Christoph Schmidt

Andreas Christoph Schmidt (born April 27, 1957 in Herten [1] ) is a German author, director and producer who staged at the theater, also made some feature films, but made a name for himself mainly with documentaries. His productions have received several awards. In 2007 and 2017 he received the Adolf Grimme Prize .


Schmidt studied history, Slavic studies and philosophy in Hamburg and Münster, and from 1985 received a scholarship at the Gerassimow Institute for Cinematography in Moscow.

Due to his biographical career, Schmidt's documentaries focus on historical people and locations who, despite the high emotionality of the images, want to convey an external view of the diversity of the ambivalent German-Russian relationship. The documentary descriptions by artists of the early Soviet avant-garde are also on an - for today's public-law documentaries - extraordinarily artistic level. His research mostly goes beyond the usual level of comparable documentation. For example, he uses Peredelkino in his work on the writers' colony established under Stalin, personal photo documents and correspondence of his protagonists and confronts them with excerpts from Stalinist propaganda films and supposedly irrelevant, sometimes contradicting statements from contemporary witnesses. In addition, he suddenly makes relevant, extremely rare, critical contributions from Soviet state television. This principle of personal staging from the periphery seems to be a typical stylistic device in Schmidt's documentaries. From this broad perspective, which works with seemingly melancholy images, architectural features, classical music as well as intimate glimpses, he then draws the life and work of his actors in a very indirect way. The splendor and misery of a largely unknown way of life of Russian-Soviet intellectuals in the West becomes visible and questions about the identity of Russia today are answered without explicitly asking them. As a director of German origin, he creates this exterior view in two ways, without relativizing the atrocities of the Stalin regime. In addition to this focus on the topic ofRussian avant-garde Schmidt shot numerous other documentaries. The spectrum ranges from other biographical works, for example, on Gottfried Benn and Alexander Solzhenitsyn , the documentation on Hiroshima , the historical legacy of the Auschwitz concentration camp , facets of Bertolt Brecht's biography up to the reconstruction of the events of the popular uprising in the GDR on June 17th 1953 . Since the founding of Schmidt & Paetzel Fernsehfilme GmbH in 2003, he has been producing his films himself. Schmidt is also committed to promoting young talent. Among other things, he took a teaching position at the 2006European University Viadrina .

Reception by the film review

The film reviews praised his cautious approach in the interviews, the symbolic imagery and his unusual narrative structures. Schmidt's emphasis on a defensive and historically neutral perspective is typical of his work. In addition, the interweaving of biographical details with historical contexts apparently makes his films something special on the terrain of this documentary genre, so that they have been awarded numerous prizes.

Works (selection)



  • Metro, 1987 (short film, co-directed with Oleg Morosow)
  • Leningrad, November (1989–1990, feature film)
  • Isaak Babel - the Revolution, the Jews, the Death (1992)
  • People Are Like Wolves (1993, feature film)
  • Hitler's helper: Heinrich Himmler. The Executor (1996)
  • In the shadow of Pasternak's Peredelkino - a place for writers (1994)
  • Berlin Fortress (1995)
  • Lolita is famous, not me. Vladimir Nabokov (1996)
  • Who Came from the Cold (1998, co-director with Artem Demenok)
  • Petrograd, October 25, 1917. The Russian Revolution and the Rise of the Bolsheviks (1999)
  • The Russian house. The Message Unter den Linden (2000, co-director with Artem Demenok)
  • What was left? (2003, 4-part series)
  • German Dispute: The Historian Ernst Nolte (2005)
  • Red arctic. Conquest of the North Pole 1937 (2009, co-director with Christian Klemke)
  • Yasnaya Polyana, the Russians and Tolstoy (2010)
  • Heilige Berg. On Holy Monti in Oberitalien (2011)
  • Hermann Hesse. The way inwards (2012)
  • The partisans. War Behind the Front (2012, co-director with Artem Demenok)
  • Treasures of Brandenburg (2012)
  • The Fagus factory in Alfeld (2012)
  • Reach for Freedom - June 17, 1953 (2013, together with Artem Demenok)
  • The Prussian Garden (2014)
  • Picture book. In Saxon Brandenburg (2014)
  • Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe Mountain Park. The game of appearance and reality (2014)
  • Battlefield Berlin (2015)
  • Where it started At the beginning of the industrial age. The Derwent Valley, England (2016)
  • Shadow of war. Part 2: The Forgotten Crime (2016)
  • Did Weimar have to fail? (2019)
  • Destroyed - A Family Story from the Holocaust (2020)


  • All the 'Dus' - 68 and me , in: Robertson-von Trotha, Caroline Y. (Ed.): Challenge Democracy. Democratic, parliamentary, good? (= Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies / Interdisciplinary Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 6), Baden-Baden 2011


  • Prize of the international film critic Oberhausen 1988
  • Stockholm International Film Critics Award (1991)
  • Bavarian TV Prize 1995
  • Media Net Award 1996
  • LiteraVision Prize 1995 and 1999
  • Adolf Grimme Prize 2007 as producer of the documentary about Fritz Lang
  • Cinarchea Kiel 2008
  • Adolf Grimme Prize 2017


  • Christoph Funke: "Bend, be steadfast", Tagesspiegel, December 7, 1995
  • Irma Weinreich: "Yuri Lyubimow in Berlin: A star in a small role", Hessische Allgemeine Zeitung, December 28, 1995
  • "Lolita is famous, not me - Alexander Nabokov", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, December 31, 1996
  • Marcus Hertneck: "How could he be like that?", Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 31, 1996
  • »Contemporary History - Pope Guido«, Der Spiegel, 4/1997
  • Regina Mönch : "The film in a suitcase, people in revolt against the regime:" Heroes without fame "," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 16, 2003
  • Heike Mundzeck : Sober view - Arte shows documentary hard work on June 17th, Frankfurter Rundschau, June 16, 2003


Individual evidence

  1. site Schmidt & Pasetzel television films , author profile Andreas Christoph Schmidt. Retrieved November 15, 2015.