The Legend of Kasper Hauser (2012) MIFF Film Review


The actual story of Kaspar Hauser is that he was a youth who arrived in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1828 telling the story of being raised in a dark room for the past seventeen years. Upon arrival, he wanted to join the cavalry like his natural father. He spoke very little, although both his speech and writing developed rapidly.  Eventually, he died of a stab wound, possibly self-inflicted. It’s a fascinating story.

Unfortunately, the interpretation of the story in the film The Legend of Kaspar Hauser is not so fascinating. In this interpretation, Kaspar Hauser is a ‘boy’ who washes up on a strange beach and is found by the sheriff who turns him into a club DJ.

I really struggled to find anything to appreciate in this film. I thought perhaps I needed to look at it as an experimental film, however I have more respect for experimental filmmaking. You can’t call a film experimental just because it is in black and white. The Legend of Kaspar Hauser has poor editing, poor (if any) story concept, no scripting and long, drawn out scenes that make no sense. Perhaps I am missing something, but I really and truly do not get this at all.

The only good thing I can mention about the film was the music. Whilst the sound went from bad to worse (but then, given what the dialogue was, I didn’t mind not hearing everything), Vitalic provided an awesome soundtrack that saved some of the scenes. Almost.

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