The post-fame fate of the troubled hyphenate featured in cult 1970s Werner Herzog pics "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser" and "Stroszek" is probed in "Bruno S. -- Estrangement Is Death."

The post-fame fate of the troubled hyphenate featured in cult 1970s Werner Herzog pics “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser” and “Stroszek” is probed in “Bruno S. — Estrangement Is Death.” Recent Stateside DVD release of both titles –where pic would have fit perfectly as an appealing extra –will spark fest and tube interest.

Now 69 and living in Berlin, musician-artist-actor Bruno Schleinstein spent formative years in and out of institutions after being beaten as an infant by his prostie mom. Various medical procedures and social isolation rendered him extremely eccentric; appearance as a street musician in a 1970 docu brought him to attention of Herzog, dismissed here by Bruno as belonging to “the better people” (helmer’s nowhere to be found in pic). As poor and forgotten as he appears to now be, the artist remains proud and defiant: “I have my pride, and I can think and my thinking is clever.” A number of songs are performed, while authorHarry Hass conducts a generally incoherent interview. Tech credits are appropriately scruffy. Narrator-thesp Lars Rudolph (“Run Lola Run”) relates oft-told tale of Bruno’s arrest while busking for Cannes preem of “Kaspar Hauser.”

Bruno S. -- Estrangement is Death

Production

An Icon Film, Virus Film production. (International sales: Icon Film, Cologne.) Produced by Herbert Schwering, Philipp Reichenheim. Directed by Miron Zownir.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Philipp Virus, Mirko Wache, Horst Herz; editors, Virus, Franziska Berlepsch; music, Bruno S. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama Documentaries), Feb. 7, 2003. Running time: 60 MIN.

With

Narrator: Lars Rudolph.
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