Between Insanity and Beauty – The Art Collection of Dr. Prinzhorn

The film follows the story of the Prinzhorn archives and illustrates the inner conflicts of schizophrenic patients and their art.

Between Insanity and Beauty – The Art Collection of Dr. Prinzhorn

This film is about one of the world’s largest artwork collections made by schizophrenic patients. Dr. Hans Prinzhorn’s collection revolutionized the bigoted psychiatry viewpoint as well as the art world of the 1920´s. Artists such as Paul Klee, Alfred Kubin and Max Ernst were highly inspired by the so-called “insane art”. These modern artists used some of Prinzhorn’s collection in the “Degenerate Art exhibition” run by the Nazis. The film follows the history of the Prinzhorn collection and illustrates the schizophrenic patients inner conflicts expressed through their artwork.

“Between Insanity and Beauty – The Art Collection of Dr. Prinzhorn” has won the most important German TV-Award ADOLF GRIMME AWARD in the category Art and Culture and is winner of the GRIMME AUDIENCE AWARD.

Director / Script: Christian Beetz
Camera: Matthias Schellenberg, Stefan Gradinetti and Jörg Jeshel
Sound: Philipp Weigold and Maximilian Preiss
Editor: Lars Späth
Digital Effects: Jan Meyer
Music: Jan Tilman Schade
Line Producer: Arek Gielnik
Producer: Christian Beetz
Science advisory: Maria Zinfert and Henning Burk
Speaker: Angela Winkler and Thomas Thieme
Commissioning Editor: Kurt Schneider and Martina Zöllner (SWR)
Simone Emmelius (ZDF dokukanal)



  • Excerpt of the jury statement at the Adolf Grimme Prize

    Christian Beetz faces the mentally challenged painters he portrays with neither voyeuristic nor romantic appeal; and achieves with this blunt, soft tone so much: through editing, text, music and speakers he allows us unique access that transcends into unity.