Now here’s a movie that would likely make extremely interesting viewing but is equally likely never to be aired in America: a specially commissioned biopic of Reinhard Mohn, the controversial founding father of the Bertelsmann publishing group. The Times reports that only a few hundred executives will watch the film, made by Bertelsmann’s board as a gift in honor of Mohn’s 85th birthday. Which also explains what got left out: there’s nary a mention of Mohn’s first wife (with whom he fathered three children) for fear of offending Liz Mohn, his current wife (and former mistress) and serious glossing over of Mohn’s wartime past, including his Hitler Youth membership and his father’s financial contributions to the SS.
But if you’re one of 700 lucky executives able to view the multi-million dollar film on January 22, don’t expect the movie to be very good. “Rich merchants and vain rulers have let themselves be portrayed by painters for centuries,” Die Welt said yesterday. “In that sense Nico Hofmann [of teamWorx] should be seen as the Frans Hals of the 21st century.”