Pawlenski – Der Mensch und die Macht

A film project of Irene Langemann – 90 and 52 minutes, HD

The next year, as the fire and smoke billowed into the frosty winter sky above Kiev’s Maidan square, Pavlensky and some colleagues set a pile of tires afire on St. Petersburg’s Tripartite Bridge, beat large metal sheets with truncheons, and waved the Ukrainian flag. The symbolic reference to the Euromaidan movement in Kiev could well seal Pavlensky’s fate: although no statutory offense was committed, Petr Pavlensky now faces the threat of three years of prison camp. His attorneys see the court case against the artist as a political show trial.

As a result of Pavlensky’s Freedom performance, of all things, the artist could be robbed his own freedom. But Pavlensky isn’t yet ready to throw in the towel, and he remains combative. What is important to him, above all, is to show the world how power makes people into objects. And he makes a step further. In November 2015 he sets ablaze the door of the Russian Secret Service in Moscow which he sees as a symbol of repression of the human individual. Since then Pavlensky is imprisoned.

We have video and photographic materials on all Pavlensky’s performances and public actions. We want to observe the artist in his confrontation with the judiciary of Russia and the ever-increasing intolerance and violence of his country. Thereby Pavlenskys wife will play an important role as supporter.


Eine Koproduktion von Lichtfilm mit SWR und Arte, gefördert von der Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.