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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.

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