Ferdinand von Schirach’s “God” deals with the subject of assisted suicide. How does actor Ulrich Matthes feel about this?
On November 23, the first will show Ferdinand von Schirach’s (56) film adaptation of “Gott” from 8:15 pm. The film is about a controversial topic: under what circumstances can one help someone commit suicide? And does the state have to enable self-determined death? At the end of the day, viewers can vote live. The result will then be discussed by moderator Frank Plasberg (63) in a panel of experts at “hart aber fair”. The German actor Ulrich Matthes (61) embodies a bishop in “Gott”. How does he feel about the delicate subject?
Yes or no?
Before the shoot, Matthes had “argued less deliberately in favor of the right to suicide,” he explains in an interview with “Welt am Sonntag”. He “would have been unreservedly in favor of it, because as an agnostic – and with all due respect for the possibilities of palliative medicine – I believe in people’s right to self-determination until their death.” In the meantime, however, the actor can “no longer clearly say yes or no”.
The topic was also discussed among colleagues on the set. And there was also a vote in the studio. Initially, the majority had a pro attitude, but later this was “less clear than at the beginning”.
That’s why he accepted the role
Matthes mainly accepted the role “because I find the material interesting and important”. It is “of course great when you can approach and work with a topic that concerns us all with so many facets.” Because for the role he not only had to deal with his own opinion and that of his character, but also with that of the others.
The judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court in February that business-like euthanasia is not unconstitutional led, according to Matthes, to von Schirach “having to rewrite some passages”. “I spontaneously welcomed the judgment in terms of people’s right to self-determination,” he continues. But then he thought that “it is not just about the very old and seriously ill, but also about people who take the right to die for economic reasons, lovesickness or depression”. He thinks it is difficult to decide how to deal with it or to cast it into law.