Gernot Roll

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Gernot Roll
Gernot Roll 6350.jpg
Gernot Roll in 2015
Born(1939-04-09)9 April 1939
Dresden, Germany
Died12 November 2020(2020-11-12) (aged 81)
Munich, Germany
  • Cinematographer
  • Film director
  • Script writer

Gernot Roll (9 April 1939 12 November 2020) was a German cinematographer, film director and script writer. He collaborated on several films with directors Edgar Reitz and Sönke Wortmann. He was regarded as an expert on literary adaptations and film biographies, such as The Buddenbrooks , filming Thomas Mann's novel in eleven television episodes directed by Franz Peter Wirth, and the same work again in 2008 in the film directed by Heinrich Breloer.



Roll was born in Dresden and grew up in Pirna. [1] At the age of 14 he began training as a cameraman and then worked at the DEFA Studios in Berlin-Babelsberg. [2] [3] His first film as a camera assistant was the fairy tale film The Singing Ringing Tree . [2] In 1960 he went to West Germany to work at Bavaria Film in Munich. [2] [4] He filmed literary works such as Geschlossene Gesellschaft  [ de ], [1] and television series such as Graf Yoster gibt sich die Ehre and Tatort . [2] From 1976, he worked as a freelance cinematographer. [4] He was considered an expert in literary adaptations and film biographies. [3] In 1979, he was the cinematographer for The Buddenbrooks , eleven episodes for television of Thomas Mann's novel, directed by Franz Peter Wirth. [5]

Roll's breakthrough came with the celebrated 16-hour TV series Heimat – Eine deutsche Chronik by Edgar Reitz in 1984. [2] Among his films were Caroline Link's Jenseits der Stille and Helmut Dietl's Rossini – oder die mörderische Frage, wer mit wem schlief  [ de ]. He worked with Sönke Wortmann for Der bewegte Mann , with Peter Sehr  [ de ] for Kaspar Hauser  [ de ], and with Link again for Oscar-winning Nirgendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa). [1] [6] He also worked with directors including Jo Baier, Axel Corti and Peter Keglevic. [4]

Roll's debut as a director was in the film Radetzkymarsch  [ de ]. [7] Roll was the director for films including the children's classic Der Räuber Hotzenplotz  [ de ] (The Robber Hotzenplotz) in 2006. [2] In 2008, he was the cinematographer for Heinrich Breloer's film Die Buddenbrooks . [5]

Roll was one of the founding members of the Deutsche Filmakademie in 2003. [8]

He was married to the producer Rita Serra-Roll; [1] their son is the actor Michael Roll (born 1961). [1] They lived in the Hunsrück.

Roll died on 12 November 2020 in Munich after a severe illness, at the age of 81. [2] [9]


Films for which Roll was the cinematographer include: [9] [10]

1970 The Last Escape Walter Grauman
1971–72 Salto Mortale Michael Braun  [ de ]TV series
1977 Zero Hour Edgar Reitz
1979 The Buddenbrooks Franz Peter Wirth [11] TV series
1980 Car-napping Wigbert Wicker  [ de ]
1980 Ein Stück Himmel Wirth
1984 Heimat – eine deutsche Chronik ReitzTV series
1985 Morenga Egon Günther
1985 Mit meinen heißen Tränen Fritz Lehner
1989 The Rose Garden Fons Rademakers
1982 Kleine Haie Sönke Wortmann
1994 Der bewegte Mann Wortmann
1996 Das Mädchen Rosemarie Bernd Eichinger TV film
1996 Beyond Silence Caroline Link
2001 Nowhere in Africa Link
2001 Die Manns – Ein Jahrhundertroman Heinrich Breloer miniseries
2002 Jedermanns Fest Lehner
2005 Speer und Er Breloer
2008 Buddenbrooks Breloer [5]
2010 Henri 4 Jo Baier
2013 Home from Home Reitz


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  6. Yue, Tao (4 April 2003). "FILM REVIEW HHH: From a Distance – 'Nowhere in Africa': Quiet and Compelling". The Tech. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
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  9. 1 2 "Gernot Roll". (in German). 12 November 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  10. "Gernot Roll". IEC – HOME (in German). Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  11. "Buddenbrooks / 1979". (in German). Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  12. "In Dresden geborener Kameramann Gernot Roll gestorben" (in German). MDR. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2020.