The Naked Man on the Sports Field

Original title: (Der nackte Mann auf dem Sportplatz)
GDR, 1973, 102 min, color
In German; English subtitles

Kemmel is almost 40. Although little throws the good-natured sculptor off, he is torn... between wanting to address his generation’s memories of the Holocaust, and disappointment that many people don’t understand his works—despite official programs to bring art to the public. One day, he offers to make a sculpture for the sports field in his hometown.


The Wolf/Kohlhaase team based this tongue-in-cheek, episodic film on the life of Werner Stötzer, one of (East) Germany’s most important sculptors. They interweave personal memories, political defeats and the weight of German history into a nuanced story about the role of art and artists in society. References to other artists—including sculptor Will Lammert, painter Albert Ebert, photographer Einar Schleef and Soviet writer Anatoli Kusnetzov—add contextual layering to cultural debates taking place in early-1970s East Germany.

Special features:
  • New digitally restored transfer
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • “Trauma and Memory: An Artist in Turmoil,” by film historian Angelos Koutsourakis (Univ. of Leeds)
  • Assistant Director Doris Borkmann on Collaborating with Konrad Wolf (Germany, 2007, 6 min.)
  • Wolfgang Kohlhaase on the Art in the Film (Germany, 2017, dir. Nadine Fuhrhop, 14 min.)
  • Studio Visit: Werner Stötzer (Germany, 2009, dirs. Christina Czymay, Aaron Wendland, 7 min.)
  • The Painter Albert Ebert (GDR, 1982, dir. Werner Kohlert, 19 min.)
  • “Albert Ebert: Finding Beauty in Daily Life,” by art historian Dorit Litt

The Naked Man on the Sports Field

Screening Rights: 
Educational Streaming

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