By Jorge Ignacio Castillo
The natural successor of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German filmmaker Christoph Schlingensief often tackled subjects most local artists avoided during the 90's, including the less palatable aspects of the reunification of Germany and xenophobic violence. Worth mentioning, both subjects are now recurrent motifs in German cinema.
Schlingensief's fearlessness came to an untimely end in 2010, when the director died of lung cancer. Thankfully, his work remains. Three of his most notable works will be shown through May at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
The 120 Days of Bottrop (1997): A singularly inept filmmaker decides to remake Pier Paolo Pasolini's infamous Salo: 120 Days of Sodom. It goes as you can imagine. May 10, 6.30 pm.
Foreigners Out! Schlingensief's Container (2002): Schlingensief himself is the subject of this documentary by Paul Poet, which follows the artist as he protests the rise of the extreme right wing in Austria by installing an updated version of a concentration camp in the heart of Vienna. May 15, 6.30 pm.
German Chainsaw Massacre: The First Hour of Reunification (1990): This gory satire speculates about the ultimate fate of 4% of the 16 million East Germans who moved to the West first chance they had. Word is, they were unwillingly turned into bratwursts. The film is followed by The Holding of Skulls Is Not My Thing, a report on Schlingensief's predictably controversial staging of "Hamlet". May 17, 6.30 pm.