Born in Georgenthal, Germany, in 1945, Werner Schroeter studied psychology at the University of Mannheim. In 1967, he began to make 8mm films under the influence of American avant-garde cinema. In the early 70s, he began to stage plays and in 1979, operas, as well. His first feature, « Eika Katappa » (1969) won the Josef von Sternberg Prize. « The Death of Maria Malibran » (1971) marked the first appearance of a leitmotif that could be said to crystallize his work the death of a singer, who dies from too much singing. « Reign of Naples » (1978) reflects his personal vision of this city, seen through the destiny of several picturesque individuals, over a 30-year period. Two years later, « Palermo or Wolfsburg » won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1996, Locarno awarded him a Leopard of Honor for his career and screened his film, « Love’s Debris ».