"... Film that no longer performs a narrative function, but is instead very strongly based on formal principles and whose subject in this case is also film itself, the medium itself."

Filmmaker and film scholar Birgit Hein died on 23 February 2023 at the age of 80. Together with her then husband Wilhelm Hein, she was among the important pioneers of experimental film in Germany from the 1960s onwards. Her artistic and curatorial work went hand in hand with a theoretical examination of the medium of film at an early stage. Her book "Film im Untergrund: Von den Anfängen bis zum unabhängigen Film" (Ullstein Verlag) was published in 1971. Further publications followed - among others in collaboration with Wulf Herzogenrath.

She was represented with her film works at the documenta by Harald Szeemann in 1972 as well as by Manfred Schneckenburger in 1977.

Under the motto "Film about Film", she also headed the "Experimental Film" section on the upper floor of the Fridericianum as part of documenta 6, making her one of the first women in a curatorial team at the Kassel exhibition.

Until 2021, she was deputy director of the Visual Arts Section at the Berlin Academy of Arts. From 1990 to 2007 she worked as a professor of film and video at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts.


Through her work, she made a vital contribution to the appreciation and recognition of film as an independent artistic medium.