Brödlʼs characters are constantly in motion. With them one plunges into foreign cultures. He tells his tales in beautiful, simple language, in pictures that are unmistakably compelling.
Brödl creates striking films of a different kind, films of a sort that are rarely seen on German television.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
A tightrope walk between myth and reality, between fiction and documentary. There is no pretense of solving the riddles of far-away worlds, but one can sense the pure pleasure in spinning good tales and making good films.
Herbert Brödl, one of the most remarkable filmmakers, mixes play and disillusionment, feelings and facts, ethnographic queries and cinema. Magical journeys. The allure of the fantastical is palpable in his films, a desire to follow the thread of the unknown to its very end.
Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt
Full of quiet humor and completely without whiny lamentations about the third world.
Wonderful images that stay with you. 'God writes in crooked lines.' There is no better commentary to Brödlʼs visual adventures.
Healthy curiosity, calculated dramaturgy of prose and poetry. It creates sympathy, is exciting and imaginative.
Brödl develops an observational and narrative rhythm patiently and with laconic humor. This allows time and space for empathy.
Brödlʼs exciting journeys into a foreign world, this world. His wellstaged docudramas have their very own style. The stories are real and full of strong imagery.
Told from a point of view that lies directly on the line.
Brilliant mix of documentary and fairy tale. Ethno-art with an idiosyncratic direction.
Documentaries beyond exoticism and poverty. With extremely meticulous handwork Brödlʼs films again offer the viewer an opportunity, supposedly lost, for self-perception through sight and sound.
Frankfurter Neue Presse
Brödl blithely mixes fiction and fact. Contrasts are effortlessly brought to the fore in the poetic character of the filmʼs storytelling. He always maintains a balance between what is made up and what he has stumbled upon. As viewers we are always in the middle of the action and at the same time just a little apart from it.
Worlds far removed from the touristʼs view of the travel pages and the journalistic view of the foreign correspondent. Wayward, trans-oceanic myths, as poetic as they are realistic.
Brödlʼs films cannot be easily pigeonholed. They are headstrong, intense and fascinating works that move between documentary and fiction. Given the casual presence of the people in front of the camera, the question of the extent to which they are acting disappears. They simply appear to be themselves and we - for a short, magical time - are there with them. It makes these films a pleasure for the senses.
What is remarkable about Brödlʼs and his cameraman Volker Tittelʼs way of seeing is that it always remains European, observing, interested, amazed, but never moves into the exotic or a pseudo-insider point of view. It may also be reassuring that the maker of these beautiful films is not a bearded adventurer, but instead a demure, reserved human being.
Brödlʼs films are unusually sensible and modern. Modern in the sense that the documentary critique and contemplation are not mutually exclusive but instead are effortlessly woven together.
Jornal do Brasil
Brödlʼs approach is characteristically laconic. The writer and filmmaker is happy to break the possible melodrama of the events with skeptical side perspectives and disguised humor. He draws attention through understatement.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Herbert Brödl has filmed for many years in South America, where dreams are very closely intertwined with reality. He also knows that you cannot get close to these foreign worlds with a simple gaze. One needs patience. His films have their own tension, intense moments that resist narrative efforts and integration into the story, but live through the strength of their movement.
Fascinating style and poetic visuality characterized by brilliant miniatures and monographs of souls in the Brazilian cosmos. It combines humor, drive and sarcasm with a shot of melancholy. A subtle tale breathtakingly told.
A gifted writer and director who has an unmistakable way of telling stories.
Brödlʼs intent is subtle and calm observation. These snapshots are ironic, cheerful, hard and remain thoroughly accessible to their very end. He looks to sympathize but at the same time never forgets that he is not a buddy nor a lawyer but an onlooker. This gives his films a special lightness that discovers humor in the melodrama and the gaze of the ethnographer in the sheer adventure.
With 'Eclipse' Herbert Brödl presents a modern version of Orpheus and Eurydice. It is the tempo, the mixture of dream and reality, the images from Amazonia that make this film a contemplative and sensual pleasure. 'Eclipse' plunges into the realm of the subconscious, into a world where love, art and life build a magical circle.
The fascinating thing about Herbert Brödlʼs films is the ease with which they tell their stories. His poetic prose makes use of the finesse of suggestion, association, what is left unsaid. Letʼs not forget that travel is essential. The journey, being in constant motion on foot, in a canoe or ship, on a train or bicycle, exerts a major influence on Herbert Brödlʼs films. His images from Amazonia are singularly powerful and unforgettable, though we are normally shown nothing more than banalities, poverty, violence and exoticism. He opens up for us a life and smiles in Amazonia that are beyond these stereotypes.
Herbert Brödl is not an anthropologist and does not make judgments. Affection and respect enable him to develop a genuine relationship with a foreign cultureʼs people, customs and other elements. Irony is certainly part of this affection. Affinity interwoven with a subtle irony leads to bewitching, almost magical figures like the woman in 'Goldland' and makes such films as 'Little Fruit' and 'Bad Boy' masterpieces.
A big-screen documentary about restless pilots who donʼt let anything keep them down in which truth, fiction and semi-documentary elements are interwoven. And this mixture represents the main strength of 'Flyers.'
Flying is another way of viewing the world, and the flyer is a wanderer between different spheres. Itʼs not for nothing that Brödl studied philosophy: The result is a documentary with powerful images, poetic and dreamlike in every way.
Regardless of which genre they?re assigned to, all the films in the Equator cycle, which have grown to six in number since 1994, stand out because of an original visual undercurrent that again and again crosses the border between authenticity and drama, poetry and the everyday, documentary style and magical realism, floating away from the interplay of the European gaze and life at the Equator and captivating the audience.
There is nothing exotic here, it might be unusual for Europeans at the most. Life is seen through the eyes of someone who is involved, Laurie's eyes. She was, writes Brödl, born on Black River and travels in order to stay on the move. Life is seen through the eyes of people for whom this is an everyday matter. Through the eyes of the filmmaker, who allows her to come to rest in long takes until the sense of immersion begins. These are the looks of lovers, from a sense of love. They're told in few words because not many are necessary, only those with meaning. Wanting to capture once again what inevitably pulls away. This film?s of such great beauty because it never follows an aesthetic canon, but life itself. Elegy is in this case a foreign term: Things of no importance are thrown overboard on this trip. What remains is a hint of nostalgia.