Beauty and Decay (2019)

Annekatrin Hendel’s gentle portrait introduces the soft side of a man that the world knows as Europe’s toughest bouncer.

Sven Marquardt does not only guard the door of the infamous techno club Berghain, he’s also a world-class artist. He started his career working as a trained photographer in East Berlin, capturing the distinctive subcultural scene of the city before the fall of the Berlin Wall: erotic, nonchalant, dirty, and existential, powerfully expressive black and white photographs. His works are shot in broad daylight, but radiate nightlife, ecstasy, excess, and darkness.

After Fassbinder and The Brasch Family, Annekatrin Hendel sits down with the photographer Sven Marquardt and two of his old friends from past punk rock times: Robert Paris und Dominique Hollenstein (Dome). The trio’s light shined brighter than the rest of the vibrant East Berlin bohemia of the 80s.

Beauty and Decay tells the story of three friends whose individual lives are defined by their artistic view of the world, by radicalism, and open-mindedness. It is also a story about the longing for individualism and unconventionality, rebellion, fashion, getting older, love, and friendship in two different ideologies. And, last but not least, it is a Berlin film.

Production notes

  • Orig. title: Schönheit & Vergänglichkeit
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: IT WORKS! Medien GmbH
  • Print source: IT WORKS! Medien GmbH
  • Cinematography: Martin Farkas, Johann Feindt, Thomas Plenert
  • Editing: Gudrun Steinbrück
  • Music: Bleibeil
  • Sound: Nic Nagel, Moritz Springer
  • Production design:

Collaboration