“The Murderers Are Among Us” was the working title of Fritz Lang’s famous film “M” from 1931. Allegedly censored by the National Socialists, it reflects the ambivalence with which Lang and Thea von Harbou portray the hunt for serial killer Hans Beckert. The real main role is played by the extremely rattled metropolis, whose population is scarred by their war experiences and the world economic crisis. The wanted murderer passes through the social panorama of the daily routine in the city streets all the way to the underworld, and provides a focus on the all-embracing struggle for survival, and gives fear a face. Playing virtuously with thriller elements, social drama, and satire, in his first sound film Lang doesn’t use music, which is presumably the best means of emotionalization. Or use hardly any music – the “music” in the film belongs solely to the whistling murderer, and in the end it’s his undoing. In the adaptation by the musician and theatermaker Schorsch Kamerun (“Die Goldenen Zitronen” [“The Golden Lemons”]) and the composer Cathy van Eck, this relationship is reversed and the film becomes a concert installation, and the material becomes a transparency for the present. In cooperation with the Munich Biennale, the festival of new music theater, a large city will be built in and around the performance venue Marstall, and this city will be populated by the performers and the audience and will put our current sense of security to the test. Who belongs here and deserves protection nowadays? Who is controlled by whom, and how are they identified? Is there even a guilty person who is to be arrested? “Is M (Munich) still acommunity based on the principle of mutual solidarity, or, as is said in many places, on the best path of becoming M (murderer) – in other words, of heading toward a highly dangerous, divided level of threat, which has to be brought to safety by rescuers with strong arms?”
– Schorsch Kamerun
23.5.2020, 7:30 – 7:45 p.m.
with Almut Wagner, Leila Etheridge
Composition commissioned by the City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A coproduction of the Munich Biennale with Residenztheater Munich