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Film Review: Kevin Kühnert und die SPD
by Becky Tan

Katharina Schiele, Luca Stratmann, Germany 2021

Kevin Kühnert is a young, active member of the Socialistic Party Germany (SPD), one of the country’s two major political parties. From 2017 until his election into the German parliament in 2021, he was the head of the JUSOS (Jung Socialists =young socialists), a branch of the SPD which represents young members. Directors/writers Katharina Schiele and Lucy Stratmann accompanied and filmed Kühnert for three years from October 2018 until September 2021. Their results have been divided into a series of six documentaries for television. At the Filmfest Hamburg we had the privilege of seeing Parts 1, 4, and 5. The topic was quite pertinent since there had just been a nation-wide election in Germany, four days before the Filmfest Hamburg began. Kühnert’s career started in the German state of Hessen. He is an enthusiastic speaker; we often see him giving interviews to Spiegel Magazine. He campaigns and discusses his political interests, such as minimum wage, unemployment compensation, personal property or anti-great coalition. Schiele, Stratmann and Kühnert all appeared for Q & A after the film. Although it seemed that the directors were hanging onto Kühnert, day and night, for three whole years, he said that actually he got to decide when they were allowed to film and when not. In the three sections, Kühnert was never filmed talking to Olaf Scholz, who is soon to be the new chancellor of Germany, in spite of them, both serving as leading SPD politicians. There is also never any mention of his private life. I am grateful to have seen the film, because it also sparked my interest in local politics, which I will follow more closely.