Affectionate and moving documentary on the sad life of Schlager singer Renate Kern, who was successful in the 60's, had a failed come-back as a country & western singer in the 80's, became depressive and committed suicide in 1991. She had a fine tremolo in her voice.
Strongest aspect of the documentary is telling of the life of Renata Kern through interviews with people around her and tv-shows and other material in which we see and hear her perform, giving interviews etc., while all this is juxtaposed to exterior monologues containing long quotes from her diary that illustrate her personal feelings and problems with her own career and the industry. Bit by bit the sad story with the inevitable end is being built up.
Weakest aspect is that the makers also wanted to shows the shallow side of the Schlager business as such and of course as background to Kern's life. They may have meant well, but it does not work. The story is simply interrupted too often for yet another shot of the back stage hustle-and-bustle of a Schlager show; and we already knew that Rex Gildo is a dressed-up doll without brains.
Showmaster Dieter-Thomas Heck has nothing to add to the subject except his own vanity; but maybe that was what the makers were after. When he finally does say something that concerns Renate Kern, he is more interested in what it meant to him than to Kern. The scene in which the two former fans can not get a tape recorder started, may be very hilarious, but what does it add to the subject?
There are two very moving moments and one does not have to be sentimental to feel it. First is when the most true fan listens to an old cassette specially dedicated to her by Kern. One does not have to be a part of the way of life of this fan to see that her grieve for Kern is real and meant. The documentary closes with Renate Kern singing "Ich will nach Hause", with a lyric that - after having seen Kern's life - gave me a lump in my throat.
In short: very moving documentary, but - though their intentions were valid - the makers should have stayed more closely to Kern's life for a more balanced film.
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