Der Wille zur Macht (The Will to Power) is a film by Pablo Sigg. Filmed entirely in Paraguay, at the site were a German colony was established at the end of the XIX century, with the objective to create a community that would remain pure Aryan. The film is about the last two survivors of this experiment.
The idea to form such a colony was initially proposed by Richard Wagner to Friedrich Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth, and was then taken into action by her husband, Bernhard Förster, a devoted anti-Semite. In February 1886, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, her husband and fourteen families of pure German “blood”, abandoned their homeland to found the Aryan colony of Nueva Germania in the middle of the Paraguayan jungle. More than a century later, the site exists as a District in the department of San Pedro, where the last direct survivors of Försters’ racial experiment still live, the Schweikhart brothers. The film is about these two brothers who have led completely isolated lives since they were children, under difficult and very meager conditions on the remote property that Förster had originally sold to their family. Today, the Schweikharts, lead an almost biblical existence with an archaic German language, in a piece of land strangely connected to the life of the famous German philosopher and one of the darkest episodes of modern Western history.
The title of the movie, Der Wille zur Macht, is borrowed from the book of notes drawn from the literary remains of Friederich Nietzsche after his death, edited by his sister Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche and Peter Gast. Although the title of the book comes from a work that Nietzsche himself had considered writing, the compilation is considered a forgery, since scholars investigating the philosopher’s archive concluded that the sister manipulated his notes to make them sympathize with anti-Semite and Nazi ideas.
About the artist
Pablo Sigg has dedicated the larger part of his approach to cinema to a long, slow and often unproductive research process. The project for his first feature film, Der Wille zur Macht (International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ottaway Film Center, Cinémathèque Québécoise, New Museum of Contemporary Art NY, Lima Independiente Festival de Cine, University of the Arts London, Cinema Zuid Antwerp) –about the last survivors of Elisabeth Nietzsche’s Aryan colony in Paraguay– began in 2009 and was only completed in early 2013.
In 2014 he finished and premiered his second feature film, I, of whom I know nothing (Mention Spéciale de la Compétition Internationale, FID Marseille 2014), filmed during 2012 and 2013 in the Montreuil office and basement that 86-year-old John Calder–Samuel Beckett’s London publisher, close friend and collaborator– uses as a home today.