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Germany, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Christoph Schlingensief

Freakstars 3000 Germany

It scandalised the Rotterdam Film Festival and, for as long as reality TV rules the airwaves, you are unlikely to see anything as weird and disturbing as Freakstars 3000. This challenging documentary is the work of notorious German 'Riot Artist' Christoph Schlingenseif. As far as we can tell, a Riot Artist combines elaborate performance art pranks with the sensibility of Jackass.

The director staged his own parody of the worldwide TV Idol phenomenon with a pool of contestants, all of whom are mentally handicapped. Over the course of a number of ruthless performance rounds, judges eliminate those whose talent doesn't make the grade. Contestants have plenty of say in the show, judges constantly revise their decisions on a whim and a chaotic party atmosphere reigns.

Nothing about the promotion of this film can be taken at face value, given the instigator's claims that European cable network Viva achieved historic ratings when the original episodes were aired. Too outrageous to be true, an elaborate practical joke or a genuine challenge to taboo subjects' Only you can decide.

'Flagrantly incorrect!' -Village Voice

Please note: contains scenes that may offend some viewers

D/S Christoph Schlingensief P Frieder Schlaich WS Filmgalerie 451 L German w/English subtitles TD Video/Col/2003/75mins

Christoph Schlingensief was born in Oberhausen, Germany in 1960. Films include: The German Chainsaw Massacre (1991), United Trash (1996).

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