Automat Kalaschnikov

Automat Kalashnikov

A portrait of the weapon which embodies an international political idea more than any other product. Its name is associated with "people's liberation armies" throughout the world, with guerrillas of all shades, with "liberation from the yoke of imperialism," with political struggle and armed revolution. This film is a documentary report, cultural history and archeological expedition in one, it also represents a stocktaking of both inheritance and inheritors and a portrait of the inventor, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, who celebrated his 79th birthday in the fall of 1998. His invention, the AK-47 assault rifle, became the initial figure in the beginning arms race and a main character through decades of political power struggle between the communist and capitalist worlds. The oppressive daily life of Mr. Kalashnikov in the gray city of Izhevsk serves as parenthesis and dramatic backbone. A counterpoint is provided by spectacular role his creation plays in subplots which take the viewer to Russia, the United States and Afghanistan. Archival footage functions as a historical component, creating a link between the 1940s and the period following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Technical Data
Running time: 90
Format: Super-16 mm (Blow-up 35 mm)
Screen ratio: 1:1.66
Sound: Andreas Wölki
Language spoken: German/English
Production year: 1998
Writer(s): Herbert Habersack
Cinematography: Wolfgang Thaler
Editing: Jean-Marc Lesguillons
Producer: Herbert Habersack
Producers: Peter A. Mayer, Axel Engstfeld