Helmut Schmidt off duty

ARD/NDR, 2007, 90 min.

A portrait of the former German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt

Golden Camera Award 2008 for Sandra Maischberger and Jan Kerhart in the category “Best information”

“The 90-minute documentary accompanies the politician as he travels to the US and China, as well as to public events and on excursions within Germany over the past five years, staying close at hand but never interfering.

The film includes surprisingly candid conversations in the private homes of the Schmidts, in Hamburg and on the Brahmsee in Schleswig Holstein. […] Having conducted over a dozen interviews with the Schmidts and collected some 90 tapes, each 45 minutes long, Maischberger and Kerhart have succeeded in creating a quiet and at the same time emotional portrait of the man whom the journalist Theo Sommer once described as the “Mentor of the Nation”, and one that is well worth seeing.

Apart from the familiar images of Schmidt smoking pleasurably, even in the US, the viewer also encounters a music-lover who mourns the deterioration of his hearing, a humorous and modest man who touchingly bids farewell to his friend Henry Kissinger at the garden gate, and an almost 90-year-old, full-blooded politician, who says of himself that he only pretends he is sensible.”
Source: Der Spiegel, 2007

Written and directed by: Sandra Maischberger
Camera director: Jan Kerhart
Sound/Dolly: Ralf Heinze, Stefan Tuchel
Film Editors: Thomas Wellmann, Michael Scheffold
Editor: Thomas Schreiber (NDR)
Producer: Vanessa Nöcker