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The new wave of German cinema began in 1962 when 24 filmmakers signed the so-called Oberhausen Manifesto. The young filmmakers aimed to make independent films that explored contemporary German society.
The era of New German Cinema lasted from the early 1960s until roughly the mid 1980s. While many of the filmmakers had different interests and artistic styles, they shared a common goal of challenging the status quo of the failing West German film industry. They aimed to raise ghosts of the past, including events of the Nazi period and happenings during the Weimar era, while often exploring politically charged topics. Prominent filmmakers involved in the movement include Reiner Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder started directing in 1966. It was the beginning of an exceptionally productive career. He would direct 44 works in 17 years. A new comprehensive picture book covers the entirety of his oeuvre.