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Germany: Fake documentary about prostitutes made with public funds


It is not uncommon for filmmakers to use simulated scenes to convey their subject more vividly. It is worth remembering the countless films about personalities of the Third Reich made by Guido Knopp. As long as such passages are appropriately identified, this is an accepted stylistic device and not worthy of criticism. It becomes dubious where such information is not given. And it is embarrassing for those responsible when this blurring of documentary and feature film is exposed.

The documentary filmmaker Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss stumbled upon it with her work "Lovemobil", which focuses on the fate of prostitutes in mobile homes on Lower Saxony's country roads. After research by the NDR editorial team STRG_F had shown that parts of the alleged documentation had been staged, Lehrenkrauss admitted that the two protagonists were not real whores, but actresses. The broadcaster that was involved in the production distanced itself from the director.

But that's not all. The Grimme award nomination committee threw "Lovemobil" out of the competition. "After taking note of the massive allegations surrounding the film 'Lovemobil', the nomination commission decided to withdraw the nomination of the production due to serious violations," Grimme director Frauke Gerlach told dpa news agency on Tuesday.

The correct labeling was missing
The filmmaker was contrite and regretted having hurt sensitive feelings of the audience. "That was not my intention." At the same time, however, she emphasized that nothing had been made up in the film. However: "We only retold it with actresses."

Compared to STRG_F, she insisted on her approach: "I definitely cannot blame myself for having falsified reality, because this reality that I created in the film is a much more authentic than reality."

If you follow their presentation, the NDR is at least partly to blame for the fraud that has now been exposed. So she asked the broadcaster to label the film as an artistic film, but this did not happen. "It was simply missing the right labeling", so their explanation.

Filmmaker wins 10,000 euros
It is interesting to note that the film, shot with public funding, was in the can in 2019. In July 2020, “Lovemobil” won the German Documentary Film Prize. At that time, Lehrenkrauss shared the profit of 20,000 euros with another winner.

The only question is why the documentary filmmaker did not draw attention to the artistic freedoms used in her alleged documentation back then?

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