THE SECRETS OF HANDSOME LEO
A film by Benedikt Schwarzer
In Coproduction with WDR and BR
Supported by BKM, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Filmförderungsanstalt, DOK.forum München
Leo Wagner was a Member of Parliament for the Conservatives (CSU), a close confidante of Franz Josef Strauß and a dazzling figure in Cologne’s nightlife. He left his family behind with many questions and open wounds.
His grandson, the film director Benedikt Schwarzer, embarks on the search for a grandfather who he never really got to know. He finds contemporary witnesses, pimps and lovers, even Leo‘s commanding officer in the Stasi. His party friends from the time remain curiously silent.
The attractive appearance of Leo’s textbook career and picture-book family in the election brochures is deceptive. His marriage was ruined. He became involved in dubious business. And evidence is being confirmed that Leo Wagner was the crucial traitor who led to the failure of the CDU / CSU’s vote of no confidence against Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1972 – celebrated by the Stasi.
His life still casts a shadow over his family. It has taken a long time for his daughter to be able to speak about the past. The candy-coloured Super-8 films of the 1960s and 1970s are viewed in a completely new light.
Benedikt Schwarzer‘s research into Leo Wagner opens up an unembellished view oflook at the contradictions of his generation and the sordid underbelly of the Bonn Republic.
Author & Director: Benedikt Schwarzer
Producer: Carl-Ludwig Rettinger
Editors: Jutta Krug, WDR I Dr. Claudia Gladziejewski, BR
Line Producer: Yvonne Gottschalk
Image composition: Julian Krubasik
Montage: Natascha Cartolaro
Sound: Philip Hutter
Addition Image composition: Laura Kansy, Fabio Stoll, Lars Barthel
Addition Sound: Nic Nagel, Cornelia Böhm, Michael Arens, Filipp Forberg, Flo Streitwieser
Music: Alexander Maschke, Michael Lauterbach
Mastering & title design: OASYS Digital Post Production
Grading & Compositing: Nicholas Coleman
Dr. Andreas Grau
Dr. Georg Herbstritt
Prof. Dr. Müller-Enbergs
DOK.fest München 2018
ARRI pitch.award 2014
Composition Grant Award, DOK.forum München 2017
DOK.fest München 2018
Film Festival Cologne 2018
Kasseler Dokfest 2018
German Director Award Metropolis, nominiert: Best Director Feature Documentary 2018