Helke Sander: Aufräumen

Helke Sander: Cleaning House

Claudia Richarz

dt. OmeU

This film will also be available online on our VoD platform from April 18 to April 30, 2023. Please note: This film will only be available in Germany.

»in short: we want to examine and, to the extent that we already know it, describe how SEXISM works in the mass media.«
Helke Sander in Frauen und Film, Nr.1

The film sees Helke Sander, political activist and film-maker, having a clear-out, straightening things out, remembering, and presenting herself and her artistic work in front of the camera. She remains a combative spirit who provokes—a thread that has run through her life and does so in this film too. When Willy Brandt spoke at the opening of the German Film and Television Academy in 1966, Helke Sander was one of the first-year students to use films as a means of action and agitation. Sander has been a prominent figure in the public eye, at least since her »Tomato Speech« in 1968 in front of the Socialist German Student League (SDS) and has amassed a vast oeuvre over the decades. Claudia Richarz is thus able to draw on a wealth of archive material in her montage of the legacy of the second women’s movement.

In founding the »Action Council for the Liberation of Women« at the end of the 1960s, Helke Sander played a major role in the start of the second women’s movement in what was then West Germany and in the resulting struggles and achievements. Her commitment was and still is conflict assenting—not really loud or shrill, instead striking a composed, strong and fear-free tone. This still applies today, seen for example when, in the first scene of the film, she urges staff at a funeral home to be pro-active in offering more contemporary forms of burial. Only briefly in one speech does Sander touch on current queer-feminist positions, which she rejects. Behind her emancipated stance is a continuous call to action, an appeal not to accept what is assumed as a given, to create women’s spaces, and to always listen to oneself despite all the surrounding scene-based consensus.

Guests: Helke Sander, Claudia Richarz, Gesine Strempel (Protagonist)

Director / Script

Claudia Richarz


Claudia Richarz, Martin Gressmann, Volker Sattel


Martin Kayser-Landwehr, Magdolna Rokob


Manja Ebert, Shinya Kitamura, César Fernándes

Sound Design

Simon Bastian


Kai Richarz, Milan von der Gracht


Helke Sander, Silvo Lahtela, Mahsa Asgari, Dorna Dibaj, Achim Lengerer, Janine Sack, Thomas Schreiber, Gesine Strempel


Claudia Richarz Film, Carl-Ludwig Rettinger Lichtblick Film


Claudia Richarz Film

Portrait of Claudia Richarz

Claudia Richarz

Claudia Richarz studied Visual Communication at Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK). In 1979 she co-founded »Bildwechsel«, a Hamburg-based umbrella organisation for women involved in media, culture and the arts. In 2000 she won a Grimme TV award for her ten-part documentary series Abnehmen in Essen. Her short film Schau mich an won the top award in the XXShorts section of Cologne’s Short Film Festival. Richarz lives in Eckernförde.

Films by Claudia Richarz (Selection)
Schau mich an 2017 | Vulva 3.0 (with Ulrike Zimmermann) 2013 | Das Nummerngirl 1989 | Der Zug aus Leipzig (with Astrid Proll) 1988