DER ROTE ELVIS
One day in 1986 a dead man was dragged out of a lake near East Berlin. It happened to be the body of American singer and actor Dean Reed – one of the most mysterious icons of cold war pop culture: a man who was friends with Salvador Allende, Daniel Ortega and Yasser Arafat and took part in protests all over the world against military regimes and the Vietnam War. He was the first American to tour the Soviet Union, starred in over 20 movies, produced 13 LPs and gave concerts in 32 countries. Largely ignored in the West, he was a huge star in South America and the Eastern bloc countries.
Reed moved to the GDR in the 1970s in search of love and the fulfilment of his socialistic dreams. He became a teenage star and a heart-throb but never gave up on fighting for peace. Between success and tragedy, between political activism and simple-heartedness he created a soundtrack for a whole generation that survived long after the cold war era. Alongside his family members, the other contemporaries looking back on Dean Reed's life include Chilean radio DJ Chucho Fernandez, writer Isabel Allende and ex-GDR politician Egon Krenz. Leopold Grün creates a portrait of a fascinating obstructionist and rebel.
Writer: Leopold Grün. Camera: Thomas Janze. Sound: John Smith. Editing: Dirk Uhlig. Music: Jan Weber, Oliver Fröhlich. Production: Totho cmp GmbH. Producer: Thomas Janze. Length: 90 min. Distribution: Neue Visionen Filmverleih GmbH