Duration: 80 minutes
Two-time Oscar Winner (Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Father), in 2019 Christopher Hampton wrote a play based on the accounts of Brunhilde Pomsel, who worked for the Third Reich from 1933 and was the personal secretary of Joseph Goebbels from 1942 to 1945, left to a group of Austrian cineastes in 2016, just a few months before her death.
“I had no idea what was happening. Or at most I had a very poor idea. No more than the majority of people. Therefore, I do not feel guilty”.
Directed by Claudio Beccari, Franca Nuti plays the disarming – and at the same time unsettling – figure of Pomsel, a woman who lived a very long life (1911-2017), carrying the memory of the horrors with her to the end of the 20th century and beyond.
A tireless worker, she was employed in the 1930s and 40s first by a Jewish insurance broker and then by the German Broadcasting Corporation, finishing as the secretary for Joseph Goebbels, the Führer's Minister for Propaganda and ideologue for the extermination of the Jewish people, who went as far as to kill his six children and wife before killing himself after the fall of Hitler.
While Hannah Arendt focused on The banality of evil, Hampton looks at normality and the every-day acceptance by thousands of people of that monstrosity that risks returning at any moment unless we keep up our guard and never underestimate warning signs.
Piccolo Teatro Grassi
from 26 June to 11 July 2021
A German Life
by Christopher Hampton
based on the true story and accounts of Brunhilde Pomsel
based on the documentary film A German Life by Christian Krönes, Olaf Müller, Roland Schrotthofer and Florian Weigensamer / Blackbox Film & Media Productions (www.blackboxfilm.at)
translated by Monica Capuani
directed by Claudio Beccaria
sets by Guido Buganza
lighting by Claudio De Pace
with Franca Nuti
A Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa production