The entire of the Enigma of Kaspar Hauser by Werner Herzog is predicated on the weirdo acting skills of its star, Bruno Schleinstein, known universally as Bruno S.  Schleinstein, who died in 2010, was something of an ideal subject, being individual, compelling and talented in ways that trained actors can only dream of — although the downside of this is that viewers spend far too long watching his antics, at the expense of the main dramatic goals.

There is plenty humour along the way; the scene when the men of the church and the men of science question Kaspar Hauser; and my favourite is the conversation concerning the inside and the outside of Hauser’s prison tower, the proportions of which he fails to understand, as he has been locked in one room for all his life.


For Brigitte Mira, as everyone else, supporting roles to Schleinstein’s madness are all that are available.  The Trauma of Kaspar Hauser may have been a better title.  Given the way that Kaspar takes to both music and prose, one of the more definite metaphors is Hauser (the ingénue) as artist; one who must be definition see the world anew.

You can’t see Brigitte Mira in too many other things, unless you have an extensive collection of German film and television — she was prolific and made just about every type of film, although we can always remember her fondly from her many Fassbinder roles.