1932 . in the proximity of berlin . germany

Bruno Schleinstein was the illegitimate child of a German mother and a Polish father. He spent his childhood in different orphanages and institutions from which he repeatedly tried to escape. In 1955, he was finally allowed to live outside the hospital. Thus began a life of drifting between shelters for homeless and charitable institutions. To support himself, Bruno Schleinstein was a worker. At that time, he learned to play the accordion. Around 1965, he began to create his first drawings to illustrate the texts of the songs he composed. From 1963 he worked as a truck driver, a job he held for twenty-eight years. In his spare time, he walked around Berlin, singing in the courtyards. He crossed paths with the filmmaker Werner Herzog who made a documentary about his life, and then asked him to play the lead role of Kaspar Hauser in his feature film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser [Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle, 1974] — a role that seems to have been written for him. Two years later, he played the main role of Stroszek, with the same director. Thanks to his grid technique, Bruno Schleinstein developed a specific formal language: mostly black and white drawings depicting human figures, oscillating between effort and sadness. Executed with incredible precision, they are sketches of his traumatic memories of his mother, but also stories of jealousy and greed, lies and deception, even murder.