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  • As stated in the opening titles and at the end Freakstars 3000 is supposed to be a commentary on the problems of the non-disabled people.

    The more I was shocked about how the disabled were depicted in this film the more I started to realize that in every non-disabled TV counterpart of this show (German TV shows like "Popstars" or "Friedmann" or the home shopping channels) its mentally "non-handicapped" participants are treated in a completely identical way: The total prostitution of the mind in front a huge TV audience at the expense of one's most important gifts one should hang on to: dignity

    On the other hand I completely understand people who are furious about "exploiting" these handicapped persons. But that's what Schlingensief's works are all about: shock people and don't care about those who cannot or will not try to get the message (if there is one).
  • Freakstars 3000 is an apparent social satire that attempts to take off various reality TV programs, most notably the Idol series, and TV in general. It is difficult to determine whether the director intended to make a "mockumentary" of the series, or just some peculiar semi-documentary style comedy. Whatever the motive or intent, the humour in this film seemed to sit very uncomfortably with a number of the people in the audience I saw it with.

    Our protagonist gains access to a German institution, consisting of a number of mentally and physically handicapped individuals with the intention of auditioning them for a new band called the 'Freakstars'. In lots of three, each aspiring member sings an impromptu performance, often terribly, and either make it to the next round or are eliminated. Peppered throughout the film are various commercial breaks or panel type debates. One example is home shopping, where our mentally handicapped individuals try to sell us items such as toilet seats to varying degrees of humorous effect. Eventually the final band members give an absolutely appalling stage performance in front of a Berlin audience, arriving in limousines and sporting ridiculous outfits.

    Depending on your sentiments, this could be seen as a very clever take-off of reality television - especially given the depths it appears to be sinking to in recent times for the sake of entertainment. The flip-side to that is the argument that these unsuspecting individuals were exploited for the purposes of humorous entertainment. Whether the mentally handicapped people were aware of the fact that they were participating in something that was never intended to be taken seriously is unclear because we are never told. We are also not aware of whether they gave informed consent to participate in a film that eventually ends up taking the p*ss out of them. Who exactly is the director sending up? Reality television? Or the unsuspecting mentally handicapped people? I guess these concerns merely mirror those that exist in the Real World of reality TV. Entertainment or exploitation? The decision is the viewers'. This mockumentary would probably sit well alongside other recent exercises in poor taste, such as the 'Bumfights' series.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Freakstars 3000" is a German comedy film from 2004, so this one will soon have its 15th anniversary and here we have another work by writer and director Christoph Schlingensief. To see him so full of energy and life in here makes me pretty sad knowing that he died about 5 years later. But he left us a lot and this pretty short film we have here (75 minutes) is one of my favorite projects from Schlingensief. Another sad aspect is that one actor in here died not much later and it's the one whose health struggles also play a role in the film itself. This one we got here is basically a mockumentary as you see already from the title. But it parodies a lot more than just the wave of casting shows. I really liked the way they handled the subject here. Every candidate gets praise and it is all in harmony and kind spirit. And even the ones who don't qualify for the next round get to hear some praise and are not escorted out through a guy slamming a red buzzer. Merkel as chancellor of Germany was still very new back in 2004 and she is also parodied, just like Peter Struck who is also dead already now.

    The one thing that is special about these 75 minutes is that it is all about disabled people. And it teaches an important lesson. It's not okay if you ignore them and say to yourself hey at least I did not insult them. They are worth spending time with and if you do, then the outcome can be a genuinely entertaining little movie like this one here. It has fun, it has heart and it also has relevance, even now that much later as yeah casting shows are still there and Merkel just got elected a 4th time. The disabled are really the heart and soul of it all and you can see how much fun they were having during the shooting. I remember seeing this one back then when it came out and I like it as much today as I did back then. Schlingensief oozes creativity and wit in here. I certainly recommend checking it out.