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Romuald Karmakar
Exhibition "Techno Worlds"

Romuald Karmakar, If I Think of Germany at Night, 2017, documentary, 105 min, film still © Romuald Karmakar

If I Think of Germany at Night

Five DJ/producers in the studio, at the club, on stage. Also: personal reflections on their careers and on the wider world of electronic music. In between: empty clubs in daylight, crowded dance floors at night, glimpses behind the scenes and into everyday life. These are the elements that make up If I Think of Germany at Night (2017).

Romuald Karmakar's documentary offers a portrait of Ricardo Villalobos, Sonja Moonear, Ata, Move D and Roman Flügel, but it's more than that: the film takes a look at music in general and club music in particular, often with a very personal departure point. For the Heidelberg native Move D, for example, a childhood memory of the sound of air rushing under a door sparked an excursion into an entire cosmology of music. The Geneva-based DJ Sonja Moonear uses her own background as a clubgoer to explain how the unifying force of electronic dance music transcends and connects nationalities and generations. Ata from Frankfurt recalls how the music of Kraftwerk and the records lent to him by a Black G.I. neighbor shaped his musical persona – and how Germany and the United States have influenced each other in the development of house and techno.

Active since the 1990s, the film’s figures speak from their experiences, their subculture and its development. The historiographical, sociological and philosophical aspects are brought down to earth by the artist in action – whether alone in the studio, facing crowds from the DJ booth or improvising with other musicians on the stage. When I Think of Germany at Night is Romuald Karmarkar’s fourth documentary on techno and its related musical styles. Following 196BPM (2002), Between the Devil and the Wide Blue Sea (2005) and Villalobos (2009), the film offers the director's most comprehensive account of a constantly evolving subculture.


Romuald Karmakar, born in Wiesbaden, lives and works in Berlin. He works with both feature film (Der Totmacher, Manila, Die Nacht singt ihre Lieder), and documentary film (Warheads, Das Himmler-Projekt, Hamburger Lektionen, Villalobos).

His work has been honored at major international film festivals (Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Toronto) and has been presented in several retrospectives (Austrian Film Museum; BAFICI, Buenos Aires; Jeonju IFF, South Korea; Cinéma du Réel, Paris). In 2013 Karmakar has been invited, together with Ai Weiwei, Santu Mofokeng and Dayanita Singh, to represent Germany at the 55th Art Biennale in Venice (German Pavilion). In 2014 he was awarded the DEFA-Foundation Award for "outstanding achievement in German cinema." In 2017 he was invited to participate in documenta 14. Romuald Karmakar, Harvard alumnus, is a member of Akademie der Künste Berlin.