Ich hätte am Kronleuchter hängen bleiben müssen

Ich hätte am Kronleuchter hängen bleiben müssen

Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

I should have held on to the chandelier Ulrike and Olli met while touring with Circus Roncalli in 1985. As a part of the successful clown duo 'Illi and Olli', he was living his childhood dream. She had left her life as a nurse in Berlin behind to become a part of the circus family. Once the season was over, she followed him to Switzerland. What sounds like the beginning of a fairytale, soon settles in reality. On creative crisis, parenting, and aging: A story about my parents` relationship.

Watch it on Play Suisse


54. Internationale Hofer Filmtage, Germany

56. Solothurner Filmtage, Switzerland


The idea of making a film about my dad originated as his own: He wanted to promote his work. I didn’t. After a good year of discussion he eventually gave in and agreed to a more critical approach to the topic. Still, I was hesitant. It would take me another five years to overcome my reluctance and make this film. The result is not what I expected. Although it’s not nearly as critical as planned, the overall feeling remains to be right.

Once we started shooting, we approached the film as a hybrid: A short documentary about my parents’ (work) life, interrupted by clearly distinguishable staged scenes in which they are reenacting themselves. In the editing phase, we decided to add the interviews conducted during research to dig further into their characters and dive deeper into their story. The staged scenes fit nicely into the narrative of what had at this point become a feature documentary, so we sneakily slipped them in – no shame.

In preparation, I put my parents through a basic acting workshop. It was interesting to have both my dad – a stage professional, and my mum – a complete amateur, co-staring. We didn’t rehearse any of the actual scenes beforehand, but worked with improvisation during the shoot. My parents obviously knew the setting and their characters very well, thus being able to playfully develop the scenes together. Working with my parents scared the shit out of me. Confronting them with their own mortality was a rather daunting prospect, but as it turns out they had given this a thought or two long before their 30 year old son did.


Written and Directed by – Diego Hauenstein

Producer – Patricia Langenhan, Nelson Happ

Cast – Olli Hauenstein, Ulrike Hauenstein

Cinematography – Ramón Königshausen, Konstantin Pape, Niklaus Schreiber

Editing – Simon Gutknecht, Quirin Grimm

Location Sound Mix – Johannes Schelle, Benoît Barraud, Paul Powaljew

Music – Nicolas Balmer

Sounddesign – Johannes Schelle, Max Hartstang

Recording Sound Mix – Johannes Schelle

First Assistant Director – Michael Karrer

Credits: Lukas Ackermann