"So, let's get started," says Angela Merkel and looks at the clock.

The Chancellor - she is still that at this point in time - apparently still has plans.

But she takes the time to talk to filmmaker Torsten Körner.

He prepares to portray her and to describe with her a piece of contemporary history that she wrote, according to the tenor of the film "Angela Merkel - Over Time".

Körner will get closer to Angela Merkel than others - not only to the chancellor, but also to private individuals.

At the end of the day, however, the film, which is designed as an essay, lacks any distance: Angela Merkel, we learn, has always acted morally.

She fought her way through and – almost – always did everything right.

That's what those who have their say here also say.

Michael Hanfeld

responsible editor for feuilleton online and "media".

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It begins with a flashback to the nineties: Günter Gaus asks the young CDU politician, who is at the beginning of her career, whether she misses anything from life in the GDR.

Isn't this all going too fast?

The only thing she misses, says Merkel, is time: "We always had a lot of time." She no longer has that in reunified Germany.

Helmut Kohl puts her in the fast lane as his "girl" in order to win the sympathy of the voters in the east.

Merkel looks at the squad of men, drops them, inherits the chancellor of unity, first at the head of the party, then, to the incredulous amazement of Gerhard Schröder, in the Federal Chancellery.

She's already dealing with the first crisis - it's about the euro and Greece.

Then comes the second – the impending collapse of the financial markets.

In the third - the refugee influx of 2015 - she will say "We can do it", and she will do it.

In the fourth crisis of her term of office, the corona pandemic, Angela Merkel then becomes what she has been denied over the years: emotional.

That is in December 2020 when she warns against easing the lockdown measures: That could then be the last Christmas with the grandparents.

Did it help that she let herself go?

Probably not, says Angela Merkel in retrospect.

that she came out of herself?

Probably not, says Angela Merkel in retrospect.

that she came out of herself?

Probably not, says Angela Merkel in retrospect.

She's always right though.

This is confirmed by the virologist Melanie Brinkmann.

The chancellor knows what needs to be done, but the others don't.

The prime ministers don't know about the corona pandemic, and Union politicians don't know about the refugee crisis.

They look like idiots, even in the picture, they are not questioned.

Only Ursula von der Leyen belongs to the party that Angela Merkel chose as a vehicle.

Von der Leyen also praises and, at the filmmaker's request, makes Merkel's typical hand gesture at the end - the diamond, which we learn that she only came up with because she didn't know where to put her hands.

All the images in this film reflect the fact that Angela Merkel always did the right thing.

We see a dead child, refugees fleeing bombs.

We hear Aydan Özoğuz (SPD) and Aminata Touré (Greens) praising the chancellor, photographer Herlinde Koelbl pays her respect, journalist Kristina Dunz tells how Angela Merkel stood up to Donald Trump.

The activist Luisa Neubauer lectures that Merkel has done her utmost, but really ecological politics does not only aim at "what is possible, but what is necessary".

The actor Ulrich Matthes describes the private Angela Merkel, who is funny and warm.

Christine Lagarde, Theresa May and Herfried Münkler are full of praise.

And finally, we hear the social scientist Naika Foroutan say about Merkel:

“It put Germany on a new historical track.

After 2015, the perspective on this country suddenly changed in terms of global politics, and that was because of this chancellor, because of that one moment in which she said: We can do it.”

At that point, at the latest, one realizes that this hagiography testifies to the view of a world whose linchpin is the Berlin bubble and nothing else.

The mentality picture is shocking.

There is no Afghanistan, no China, no Vladimir Putin.

It's clear that the Russian tsar waited until Merkel was gone before attacking Ukraine.

But he has been preparing it for a long time.

And the question is whether Angela Merkel, of which Barack Obama is convinced in the film, not only knows about the value of freedom, but whether she would have explained to the Germans, who like everything for free, that one has to be ready to accept freedom and to defend democracy.

Or would she, like her successor's government, have sent 5,000 helmets to Kiev?

In the eyes of this film, she would definitely be right again.

Angela Merkel

– In the course of time, today at 8:15 p.m. on Arte

, next Sunday, February 27, at 9:45 p.m. on the first, available in the Arte media library.

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