Dean Reed - The Red Elvis/Der Rote Elvis
Tallinn Black Nights International Film Festival
01.12.2007 18:00 National Library
The Red Elvis
Germany 2007 | 90min
Language: English, German, Spanish, Russian
American singer and actor Dean Reed is a phenomenon. Largely ignored in the West, he was a huge star in South America and the Eastern bloc countries during the Cold War. Dean Reed was a political idealist who loved to entertain, a showman who lived in the GDR; a ladies' man in search of his great love, who saw in Socialism the fulfilment of his personal utopia. He performed German Schlager at "Kessel Buntes", and also had himself photographed in the Lebanon with a machine gun slung over his shoulder.
Dean Reed appeared in 20 films; he produced 13 LPs and gave concerts in 32 different countries. As a US citizen, he enjoyed complete freedom of travel, at the same time extolling the virtues of the wall in interviews. A friend of Salvador Allende, Daniel Ortega and Yassir Arafat, he also campaigned for peace. In 1986 his contradictive life came to a mysterious end in an East Berlin lake.
This film tells the story of Dean Reed's rise and fall. His tragic life is a mosaic dominated
by his longing for success and his naïve political engagement at a time when the
world was divided by two major ideologies. Reed's mysterious death still gives rise to
speculation and is reason enough to take a look behind the fa?ade of his life of showbiz
Director: Leopold Grün
Festivals and awards: Berlin (Panorama), Moscow