Franz Rath, the experienced German DoP who is known for his collaboration with directors like Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe Von Trotta, died at the age of 88, according to the German Society for Cinematographers.
Rath died on December 26, 2020 in Graefelfing.
Rath’s first film was born on June 22, 1932 in Eltville and was shot in Cannes in 1966 by the German filmmaker Schlöndorff. The DoP was awarded a German film prize for its second collaboration Degree Of Murder with Anita Pellenberg.
In 1977 he began to work closely with Margarethe von Trotta and made eight films with the director, including the famous dramas Rosa Luxemburg, The Promise (for which he won a German camera award) and Rosenstrasse.
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He has also worked on numerous TV productions and with directors such as Mike Roemer, Josef Sargent, Kurt Gloor, Franz Peter Wirth and Egon Monk. In 1984 he served as the second DoP unit for the cult children’s film The NeverEnding Story.
The German Society for Cinematographers said: “Franz Rath was one of the most important directors of photography in Germany, whose cinematography defined numerous films of great artistic and historical value. He has shaped German film history and the BVK for decades. He was always loyal to his artistic partners and was not only able to motivate his crew and all those involved on the set with personal humility and integrity as a DoP, but also guarantee their well-being and fair treatment. Franz Rath’s working style was characterized by professional and human solidarity. He was politically wide awake and allowed himself several times to reject films that did not correspond to his humanistic and social character. His work is proof of that. The uncritical flat mainstream did not meet his preferences. “
The organization continued: “Our condolences go to his wife, the two daughters and their families – and all those who were close to Franz and who adored him. He was a role model in life and work for everyone who knew him, was allowed to learn from him, and worked with him. We will miss our colleague and keep his memory alive. He was not only an internationally recognized DoP and master of lighting for cinema and television, but also a noble, committed and friendly colleague. His character and humor will stay in our memories and comfort us. “