Thursday, 9 November 2023, 7:00 p.m., English language with German subtitles, Kommunales Kino im Künstlerhaus
»Can we not admit that certain skilled men, gifted with intelligence, talent or even genius, and so indispensable to society, rather than stagnate should be free to disobey laws in certain cases?«
In his 1959 film Pickpocket, Robert Bresson placed a historical figure at the centre of his narrative as a reference point, a figure to whom the protagonist of the film is repeatedly related: George Barrington.
‘The Ballad of George Barrington’ by the two artists Matthias Meyer and Alexander Rischer tells the story of this most remarkable character, a notorious pickpocket who moved in the aristocratic circles of late 18th century London and later was convicted to Australia. There, his second career, he became chief constable of Parramatta.
The film is a search for stolen goods, for valuable and banal objects, for documents, people and their connections to each other and tells this with materials and artefacts from museums and collections from all over the world.
What is so remarkable about George Barrington’s whole career is his switching of sides, from pickpocket to chief constable, that coincided with the switch of hemispheres.
And between these spheres he created his various literary works, for which he is still famous today – and none of which he wrote himself.
Cast & Credits
Directed by MATTHIAS MEYER and ALEXANDER RISCHER
Spoken by KEVIN KEHOE, STEFAN CANHAM and ROBERT FORSTER
Special Appearances by OMAR DORBIL, VOLKER LANG, ALKE MISSALLA, NAT WILLIAMS, MARKO PAULI and QUIM PUJOL
Music by ANDREW PEKLER
Produced by NILS HARTLEF
Funded by MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and Liebelt-Stiftung, Hamburg