David Dietl | Germany, 2019 | 90 min | German, English Subs
Co-presented by Goethe-Institut Montreal
A portrait of three doormen responsible for guarding entry to some of their city’s most coveted dancefloors, Berlin Bouncer offers insights into the men’s daily routines, their origins in nightlife, and their reasons for continuing to do what they do into their middle-age. Sven Marquardt, Künster, and Smiley Baldwin are among Berlin’s most famous and experienced bouncers, having been fixtures of the scene since the fall of the Berlin Wall over 25 years ago. The film presents the men’s respective creative ambitions on and off the job: they view what they do — enforcing their clubs’ exclusive, more-art-than-science admission policies — as an act of curation, determining who stays and goes based on adherence to amorphous dress codes and attitude expectations. Those in attendance will no doubt gain a fresh perspective on this thankless, often unpopular profession. They may even glean a tip or two regarding how to get into Berghain next time.