Having turned key events from Germany’s turbulent past into successful minis, including ratings record breaker “Dresden,” TV producer Nico Hofmann is producing a docudrama about the country’s former chancellor, Helmut Kohl.
Kohl ushered in German reunification when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and was one of the architects of the European Union. But he fell from grace in 1999 when it was discovered that the Conservative Party had received illegal funding under his leadership.
The 90-minute biopic, which Hofmann’s company TeamWorx is producing with pubcaster ZDF, will combine interviews with Kohl with three dramatized episodes from his life.
“This is not going to be a big event movie — we’re taking a documentary approach,” said Hofmann.
Kohl has always been an intensely private person, especially following the suicide of his wife, Hannelore, in 2001.
Helmer Thomas Schadt, who previously directed a portrait of former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and a docudrama about Amnesty Intl. co-founder Carola Stern, has already started interviewing the heavyweight statesman.
“He’s been surprisingly open,” said Hofmann, who’s known Kohl personally for years.
Once the interview process is finished, Hofmann will start developing the script.
“I’d expect we’ll have a finished script by the end of the year,” he said, adding that German interest in its own history is “gigantic. No one would have thought. History is as popular as soccer.”
Apart from the Kohl pic, Hofmann is in production on WWII mini “Die flucht” (Escape) and developing a film about the 1937 Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster.