Free Rainer (Reclaim Your Brain)
Directed and written by Hans Weingartner and co-written by Katharina Held
Starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Elsa Sophie Gambard, Milan Peschel, Gregor Bloéb, Simone Hanselmann
Produced by Antonin Svoboda
Cinematography Christine A. Maier
Frustrated, because he is forced to produce bad TV-shows, a manager of a TV-station, enters the station and manipulates the ratings, to initiate a TV-revolution.
Imdb Link to the film
Critics and audience opinions on this film are a long way from congruence. While critics widely disparage the film as in-congruent, lacking in character, message and the actor’s performances, as well as story-telling, the audience largely welcomes the break with tradition and conventional film making.
Free Rainer (Reclaim Your Brain) is often compared to one of Hans Weingartner’s previous projects ‘Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei’.
While critics are not sure what the message of this story is exactly, the audience knows without the shadow of a doubt that Hans Weingartner, who not only directed, but also co-wrote the screenplay, has made a manifesto out of this film - a manifesto and a cry of frustration over the general state of affairs in society at large.
Free Rainer is not so much about the rebellion against bad television and corrupt program directors, as it is about the emerging intellectual insurgence against today’s values, or lack thereof, and the representative announcement of a large number of people, wishing to steer away from a real life enactment of a Brave New World scenario, as it was referenced in the film.
Certain scenes, which have been critiqued as superfluous, might express the subconscious urge of the characters and film makers to escape our plastic world, and dive back into the element of whence we came from. Prior to evolution.
This film might be highly inspired, which is why it might have to be analyzed using a different kind of lens, non-linear thinking, to understand the film. It has received enough attention to deserve a more thorough look beyond the surface of conventional practicality.
Aren’t we living in a time, where we can finally permit ourselves the luxury to be non-exclusively practical? Why shouldn’t we allow ourselves to get lost in the jungle of different genres, mixed in this film, and at first glance, naïve, sometimes lengthy philosophical or “unnecessary” scenes of Free Rainer (Reclaim Your Brain)?
Because we are not merely consumers – we are dreamers – and we claim the luxury to dream a more subtle dream, one that doesn’t make total sense to the conscious mind, but speaks first hand to our subconscious desire for unsolved mysteries, incongruence, and contradictions, which mirror real life so much better than those “perfectly timed, sequenced, and portion-sized films” we get served on our daily twenty-four-hour flights to oblivion.
The lack of character depth and development, some critics complain about, might be an expression of the cathartic epiphany the characters experience upon meeting like-minded souls, and embarking on a journey toward the elimination of the need for such forced upon limitations.
Social phobia, as described as one of the symptoms of the main characters, is the theatrical measure of expression of the illness of society, which becomes immediately inactive once the psyche embarks on a pro-active search for liberation.
The German title wears the tagline “Dein Fernseher lügt!” – “Your TV is lying!”. What Free Rainer (Reclaim Your Brain) tries to convey, is that movies and TV shows don’t depict real life, and rather paint a false, fearful, and overly negative picture of the world, and life itself.
In the course of the movie, the characters show the audience real life by disengaging from the television-set, using television and literature when necessary, as a tool, rather than a crutch, as mental stimulation, rather than mental comfort food. Meeting our destiny head on versus escapism.
The fact that every individual will have a unique reaction and widely differing opinion about Free Rainer (Reclaim Your Brain) is proof enough that it accomplished its goal: To make a film that allows for creative, individual, and real life to find expression in a medium that should serve us, not enslave us.
And maybe this film also reminds us that the bad guys are necessary for every good story, including our own, that not all conflicts are meant to be resolved, but maybe learned from.
Hans Weingartner continues to work as a director with Kahuuna Films.
Is society really becoming less intelligent, or are we just now, through globalization, made more aware of the fact that people have never been especially smart? Or was there any point in history, where high levels of intelligence have been reported?
With continuous wars raging every country in the world, we might be hard-pressed to find one.
Maybe the western world is just uncomfortable knowing that Asia has a head start in all things intellect. At no point in history did we have more free knowledge accessible to large parts of the population. True- the internet is a cesspool of false news and spammers- but information can also be found at the click of a button. And that immediately renders us more intelligent, and better informed than any other society at any other time in history.
The more I learn, the less I know is a truism that applies to today’s world more than ever before.
In a time of scientific and technological expansion we feel ourselves in unknown, uncharted territory – a fish out of water – that is what we are. We might appear silly to ourselves, but one day we will feel brave in this new emerging world. Maybe fear just got the best of us while watching our yet to determine limits of our capacity and ability to create form new boundaries to our ever becoming world.
Yes, there is the danger of becoming dependent, incapable masters to our technological crutch, but the human spirit and its instincts don’t die. One of our innate instincts is to explore and that will keep us, and our brains alive beyond the dangerous decay unlimited comfort can bring with it.
-That, and the sheer unpredictability of nature and the cosmos itself. -Pure chance.