The Good German (USA 2007, Steven Soderbergh) (Wettbewerb)

09 Feb 2007 von Stefan Höltgen

Am Ende von Soderberghs “The Good German” stehen George Clooney und Cate Blanchett an einem Flughafenrollfeld, im Hintergrund die Propellermaschine, die die Frau in die Freiheit bringen wird. Die Montage der Szene folgt – wenn ich mich recht erinnere – en detail jener zwischen Ingrid Bergman und Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”, nur operiert “The Good German” mit umgekehrten Vorzeichen: Der von Clooney gespielte Presseoffizier hat gerade – ohne es zu wissen – einer Kriegsverbrecherin zur Flucht vor ihrer Bestrafung verholfen.

Die Erzählung ist situiert vor dem Hintergrund der Potsdamer Konferenzen, die über das Schicksal Deutschlands nach dem verlorenen zweiten Weltkrieg entschieden hat. Während die Staatsmänner im Vordergrund Frieden schließen, entwickelt sich im Hintergrund der kalte Krieg. An dessen Fronten kämpfen die Russen bereits gegen die Amerikaner darum, wer das Know-how in Form deutscher Wissenschaftler aus dem Krieg mit nach Hause nehmen darf. Im Einzelnen geht es um die Wissenschaftler, die mit dem V2-Projekt beschäftigt waren und im Konzentrationslager “Dora-Mittelbau” tausende Zwangsarbeiter zu Tode gebracht haben.

Jacob Geismar (George Clooney) trifft in Berlin auf seine ehemalige Geliebte und Redakteurin Lena Brandt. Sie weiß offenbar, wo sich ihr Mann aufhält, der eine maßgebliche Rolle bei der Entwicklung der V2 gespielt hat. Ihr auf den Fersen sind sowohl die Russen als auch die Amerikaner. Letztere missbrauchen Geismar, um an den Aufenthaltsort des Gesuchten zu gelangen. Nach und nach enthüllt der Film mehr Details um die Liebesgeschichte zwischen Jacob und Lena, die Ereignisse um Lenas Mann und die Machenschaften der Besatzer, denen offenbar jedes Mittel recht ist, um als Gewinner aus der Sache hervorzugehen: Wer in den Besitz der Raketenpläne gelangt, bestimmt das Schicksal der Welt, verrät einer der Offiziere dem sich stets im informationellen Hintertreff befindlichen Jacob.

“The Good German” ist in seinem Plot ein verwirrend “moderner” Film, der auf kein noch so konventionelles Mittel zur Entwicklung seiner Geschichte verzichten will. Er bedient sich dabei vor allem beim Film noir, entwickelt seinen Verlierer-Helden (Jacob) und seine Femme fatale (Lena), als habe ihm dabei ein “Die schwarze Serie für Dummies”-Leitfaden vorgelegen. Die zahlreichen Allusionen und Stilistiken, die Soderberghs Film dabei zitiert, werden mit einem recht fatalen Hang zur “Hollywoodisierung” von Historie verwoben, so dass man sich bereits nach den ersten Minuten des mit dokumentarischem Material angereicherten (oder dieses simulierende?) Schwarzweiß-Films an Baudrillards Überlegungen zur “Geschichte als Retro-Szenario” erinnert fühlt.

Und in der Tat bleibt der Film auch derart naiv in seiner Engführung von Historie und Histoire. Keinerlei Brüche, kein Humor, keiner Distanz, stets auf das Authentische abzielend, erzählt Soderbergh in seinem äußerst schwachen Film eine Fabel vom “kleinen Konflikt im großen Krieg”, wie sie den ideologisierten Großproduktionen der 1950er Jahre noch gut zu Gesicht gestanden hätte. Dass der Film von einigen Pressevertretern ausgepfiffen wurde, ist verständlich – noch verständlicher jedoch, das die meisten im Kinosaal am Ende einfach stumm verlassen haben – ein derart kantenloses, naives Werk lässt einem schließlich die Worte fehlen.

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