Last year “Lovemobil” won the German Documentary Film Award. The NDR documentary illuminated the red light district – but resorted to staging. Now the director is drawing conclusions.
The filmmaker Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss is giving back the German Documentary Film Prize for her criticized documentary “Lovemobil”. This was announced by the SWR as the sponsor of the main prize on Wednesday in Stuttgart. The director confirmed the decision of the dpa. With this, the filmmaker draws conclusions from the discrepancies about the film, which the NDR made public on Monday. According to the public broadcaster, parts of the film are said to have been staged.
“Lovemobil” is about the life of prostitutes in mobile homes on the edge of federal highways in Lower Saxony. The film was released in cinemas in spring 2020 and screened at festivals. NDR television showed it in December.
“I made serious mistakes”
Lehrenkrauss was quoted in the SWR announcement with the words: “I am hereby handing back the German Documentary Film Award 2020 along with the associated cash bonus. I made serious mistakes in the realization of my film” Lovemobil “, which I deeply regret and which I myself regret only becomes clear. ” The filmmaker apologized to those involved and the audience. “The return of the German Documentary Award is my first step in learning from this mistake and not harming my industry and the German Documentary Award with this film.”
“Lovemobil”: The documentary will be removed from the media library. (Source: SWR / Christoph Rohrscheidt)
The director of the SWR Doku Festival, Irene Klünder, said that the director’s step deserves respect. “At the same time, this is an opportunity for the documentary film in which transparency and the question of authenticity are discussed openly.”
On Tuesday, the responsible nomination committee withdrew the nomination of “Lovemobil” for the renowned Grimme Prize. The day before, the NDR had distanced itself from the film, which it had co-produced, because of discrepancies. It was initially removed from the ARD media library and blocked for repetitions.
“Numerous situations are simulated or staged”
According to NDR information, the film is said to have been made on the basis of long-term research by the author, but the main protagonists of the film did not describe their personal experiences, “they play a role. Numerous situations are re-enacted or staged”.
The director then confirmed that she had retold the incidents researched with real prostitutes at individual points with actresses in order to protect the women, or because a film was not possible in the end. “Nothing is made up in the film that doesn’t exist. We only retold it with actresses.” She said it was a mistake that the film was not labeled accordingly.