Skip to main content

AUTOMAT KALASHNIKOV

Germany, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: Axel Engstfeld, Herbert Habersack

"I wanted to make the world a better place by inventing a perpetual motion machine. At the front during WWII I realised that there is only one perpetual motion machine: the weapon"—Michail Kalashnikov.

Automat Kalashnikov is a documentary portrait of a weapon which, unlike any other, has become the embodiment of a global political ideal. The AK47 is cheap, extremely reliable in all conditions and deadly. Over 70 million are available worldwide to armies, mercenaries, terrorists, guerrillas, criminals and revolutionaries. Like Oppenheimer, the father of the Atomic bomb, Kalashnikov has wondered if he was doing the devils work."

The film links the parallel stories of the secret life of the AK47 inventor with the struggles in places as unforgiving as the hills of Afghanistan to the streets of Los Angeles where police find themselves out-gunned by teenage gang members toting the firepower of the AK47. An extraordinary story of one man and the legacy of his lethal creation.

See also...

STARS BY HELMUT NEWTON

Notorious for his stark, black and white photography capturing ice-cool Teutonic giantesses in fetish wardrobes, Helmut Newton is one of modern photography's most enduring figures. This alluring ... More »

BERLIN BABYLON

"The Angel of History...sees a single catastrophe. Rubble piles up relentlessty, layers of it are hurled at his feet. He longs to linger, to wake the dead and reconstruct the rubble. But a storm has ... More »

MY FIRST NAME IS MACEO

" Maceo, blow your horn!!" There wasn't a concert or recording session when the Godfather of Soul, James Brown didn't fire up his aggressive dynamic saxophonist with the preced­ing exclamation ... More »

GOLDWIDOWS: WOMEN IN LESOTHO

The film's title is taken from the name given to the women whose men work as migrant labourers in the goldmines of South Africa. The men (from Lesotho, a small mountainous country surrounded by South ... More »

TRIP TO ASIA - THE QUEST FOR HARMONY

“There are as many different kinds of people in this orchestra as you can imagine. And each one of them is looking for something that fits. We are on a quest for harmony.” - principal conductor ... More »

ALONE IN FOUR WALLS

Sometimes, jail is the only place you can be free. ... In Russia, 15-year-olds convicted of criminal acts get sent to adult prisons; for anyone younger it's reform school. Alone in Four Walls takes ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director