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Directed by Wim Wenders

West Germany 1976 175 mins.

Wenders began shooting Kings of the Road in an era of mass cinematic extinction, relying not on a script but on a pre-discovered route which took him through the little towns along the Berlin Wall that still contained movie theaters. Kings of the Road is about a friendship between two men: Bruno, a.k.a. King of the Road (Rüdiger Vogler), who repairs film projectors and travels along the inner German border in his truck, and the psychologist Robert, a.k.a. Kamikaze (Hanns Zischler), who is fleeing from his own past. After driving his old Volkswagen straight into the Elbe River in a half-hearted suicide attempt, Robert is fished out of the river by Bruno. Thus begins a shared journey through a German no-man’s-land, a journey that leads them from the Lüneburg Heath to the Bavarian Forest. The men’s old moving van, outfitted with film projectors in the back, becomes a metaphor for the history of film—it is no coincidence that the film is dedicated to legendary German director Fritz Lang.