“Victories have a huge number of fathers and mothers.
Defeats only ever have one.”
Seldom has an election campaign been as exciting, varied and unpredictable as the 2002 German general elections - and seldom has there been greater media interest.
By the time voters went to the polls on 22nd September they had followed each step of the election campaign on their television screens in countless variations, including the first TV duel in German television history between a Chancellor and his challenger. The electorate saw Schröder and Stoiber travelling through the country, and by now they were well aware that there was a whole legion of advisers behind each of the leading politicians - and in this election, for the first time, these people stepped out of the shadows of their candidates into the glare of public attention.
The chancellor makers are the heroes of this film which, six weeks after the election, takes the time to review the election campaign from the perspective of the political background activists. The main figures here are Matthias Machnig (national SPD party manager and head of the SPD election campaign head office Kampa) and Michael Spreng (former editor of the leading tabloid newspaper Bild am Sonntag and Edmund Stoiber’s media adviser). The film “The Chancellor Makers” is the only documentary production to have accompanied these two senior figures, standing alongside Schröder and Stoiber throughout the 2002 election campaign and right up until polling day itself. Through a series of long interviews the director has succeeded in gaining close access to the protagonists, who provide very personal statements - at times commentating offscreen on the events of the campaign - and thus give viewers an insight into the whole course of this thrilling battle, from the most intimate perspective.
Christine Kugler und Anja Fasch
Stephan Ambrosius und Knut Schmitz
Günther Kurth und Gesa Marten
Jürgen Kornatz, Martin Keller, Jan Bendel
Lucas Schmidt, ZDF