The Wagner Files

  • Emmy

His life is a big opera, his character extreme: he’s excessive, egomaniac and a lawless anarchistic. THE WAGNER FILES takes a bold and in-depth approach to Wagner’s life, meeting the controversial composer at eye level, while linking Wagner’s character to the overwhelming music he created.




90 min


Ralf Pleger


“The Wagner Files” is an innovative and dynamic fusion of music documentary, fictional film and animated cartoon. It critically introduces the life and musical creativity of one of the most famous – and arguably most controversial – German composers in a way that has never been done before. High quality, thought-provoking fictional scenes trace the complex and scandalous relationship between Richard Wagner (Samuel Finzi) and his second wife Cosima (Pegah Ferydoni). The scenes are shot in a modern setting, orchestrated with, and impassioned by, Wagner’s music, referring to classical Hollywood melodramas as direct successors of Wagner’s “Gesamtkunstwerk”.

Marking the anniversary of Wagner’s 200th birthday in 2013, the film explores the visionary opus and arguable spirit of Richard Wagner, rediscovering the composer anew for a wide and varied audience.

Written and directed by
Ralf Pleger

Samuel Finzi
Pegah Ferydoni

Jürgen Rehberg

Editing and Sounddesign
Frank Tschöke

Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Susanne Radehof

Line Producer
Kathrin Isberner

Production Manager
Nick Pastucha

Executive Producer
Christian Beetz

Commissioning Editor
Simone Reuter

The Wagner Files
  • „Just in diesem Moment überraschen uns die aus dem Theaterbereich stammenden jungen Regisseure Hans Block und Moritz Riesewieck mit einem erstaunlichen Dokumentarfilm, der seit Monaten Publikum und Kritik auf den wichtigsten Festivals der Welt elektrisiert. Völlig zu Recht: Es ist, als würden einem die Scheuklappen weggerissen, als sähe man das, was sich seit Jahren direkt vor unseren Augen abspielt, zum ersten Mal unverschleiert... eine fesselnde ,Doku noir' mit höchstem Anspruch...Dieser Film müsste an allen Schulen gezeigt werden.“
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In co-production with

  • swr

In association with

  • arte

Supported by

  • mdm
  • media EU