Hippie_Hill_©Alexander Seidenstücker Morrison_Room_©Alexander Seidenstücker

From psychedelic rock in the 1960s and the 1970s’ punk movement to the gloomy dark wave of the 1980s and gangsta rap in the 1990s: artists from the various decades explain their relationship with dying and death.

The connection between death and rock music is a subject that has always fascinated us – not least against the background of the early deaths of such rock giants as Jim Morrison, Sid Vicious and Amy Winehouse. But death, too, is subject to fashions: zeitgeist, and social and political circumstances all determine how death is dealt with. It is both an innovator and a destroyer. It is melancholic, romantic and rebellious all at the same time. This film takes us on a journey through time and pop history. Artists from the various decades explain their relationship with dying and death – whether as a metaphysical experience of being, the last possible negation, world weariness or brute force. The film takes us to the very beginnings of each pop genre, to Haight Ashbury, San Francisco’s hippy quarter, to New York City, Central England and Compton in South Central L.A., the mecca of gangsta rap. Only at these places can we paint a true picture of the mystical, excessive and fascinating symbiosis between pop and death.

Music / Society
52’ HD
Film by
Hannes Rossacher and Claudia Bäckmann
kobalt productions for ZDF/ARTE, 2014
Original title
The music is over – Tod & Pop / The music is over – Pop mortelle