- Der Tot hat ein Gesicht" or "Hangmen" by Jens Becker
Jens Becker was nominated for an Oscar in 1991, in the category
of student films. Also, he was one of the best students from Wim
Wender's Art Academy.
Becker?s film asks: What is an Executioner? The hangman? Is he a
killer, or is he just a person with a licence to kill? Is this 800-year-old
profession dying out because of new laws which set other ways of
"Hangmen" is an unusual documentary that was made and
finished after five years of European research on the profession
of the professional killer with a licence, the hangman. This is
the trade that shows its face only before someone's death. The documentary
follows the stories of professional hangmen of different nationalities:
about their emotions and the job, about their relationship to death
and to the convicted, about the extended hand of justice, in the
death chamber or on the gallows. The film-maker has tried to present
seven different psychological portraits of professional hangmen.
Every society has them, and in every society they are a taboo subject,
a subject that is accepted but not very nice to talk about over
"I wanted to lead the hangmen that I have interviewed in this
film, to give the moral evaluation of their life, which is very
hard. I have tried to drop off all the clichés and prejudice
before I even got their trust to open themselves to my camera,"Becker
explained. Did they evaluate the morality of their profession? No,
I don't think so. The Hangmen are still taboo.