I wanted to live

The film "I Wanted To Live" presents a new, cinematic form of information transfer. The work consists of a list of names (as far as known) and reasons for death of 35,597 refugees and migrants who have lost their lives in or on the borders of Europe since 1993.
It is primarily meant to be a silent, digital memorial for the dead. A pause, time for reflection and a meditation about our current world.


D | 2018-19 | 81 min. | black&white, dir. by Christian Alexander Rogler

Latest news:
+ Nomination for the St. Leopold Peace Prize for humanitarian commitment in the arts 2020. + stift-klosterneuburg.at/kunstpreis2020-finale/
Now&After International Video Art Festival, Moscow,
Oct.-Nov. 2020

  • Christian Alexander Rogler
  • Christian Alexander Rogler
  • Greta Amend
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature, Web / New Media, Other
  • Genres:
    Human Rights, Menschenrechte, Flüchtlinge, MIgration, Refugees, expanded, expanded cinema, film installation, filminstallation, documentary, art, art installation
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 12, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Human Rights Film Festival Berlin 2019
    September 12, 2019
    Festival Premiere
  • Video Art Festival III. Berlin 2019
    September 21, 2019
    Official Selection
  • this human world - International Human Rights Film Festival Vienna 2019
    December 1, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Karama Film Festival 2019 - Royal Cultural Center
    December 12, 2019
    Main Program - 12-hour-screening
  • Galerie Gesellschaft, Berlin - Aug-Sept. 2019
    September 12, 2019
    Offical Screening and Exhibition - 14 days
  • Annual Exhibition at the Klosterneuburg Monastery 2020
    April 5, 2020
    Annual exhibition 2020 in the monastery
    Following the St. Leopold Peace Prize 2020
  • Moviesthatmatter Film Festival
    The Hague
    March 20, 2020
    Netherlands Premiere
    Official Selection - Screened 20. -28.3.2020
  • Izmir International Refugee Film Festival / İzmir Uluslararası Mülteci Film Festivali
    April 14, 2020
    Turkish premiere
    Official Selection
  • Africa Film For Impact Festival 2020
    November 4, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Madrid Human Rights Film Festival 2020
    December 3, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Now&After International Video Art Festival Moscow 21
    Russian Federation
    September 7, 2021
    Russian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Izmir Mülteci Filmfestivali/Refugee Film Festival 2022
    April 12, 2022
Distribution Information
  • Christian Alexander Rogler
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Christian Alexander Rogler

Christian combines his 30 years of professional experience as an actor, producer and photographer. His main focus is currently on the possibilities of translating and transferring theatrical and factual content into digital forms on the Internet.
His human rights film and installation project "I wanted to live" is currently nominated for the St. Leopold Peace Prize for Humanitarian Engagement in Art 2020 donated by Stift Klosterneuburg in Austria, where it will be exhibited in a 8-month large scale exhibition in 2020. Since its premiere at the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin, the acclaimed project has been touring to festivals in Europe and beyond, such as the International Human Rights Film Festival thishumanworld in Vienna, or the Karama Human Rights Film Festival in Amman, Jordan in December.

With the German-Danish group "Superbohemians" founded by him and Greta Amend in 2015, he realised cross-artform projects between theatre, performing arts and film. He is successful as a portrait photographer for artists and as a cameraman for the Superbohemians.


Add Director Biography
Director Statement

D 2018-2020 | 81 min. |Experimental documentary | Filminstallation | Expanded cinema | b/w

"I wanted to live" is an up-to-the-minute cinematic challenge, which is related to the documented death of more than 35,597 refugees and migrants, who have lost their lives within, or on the borders of Europe since 1993. It is a new approach to adapt data for the big screen, as well as a possibility to screen it in an installation context for art galleries, museums, schools and other mobile projection. And by that to investigate the potentialities of cinema as a room for memorial, reflection and consequent political action.

The film aims to raise awareness on this issue throughout the world, and to animate audiences and politicians to reconsider European immigration policies in order to develop a human vision on migration. The sheer number of deaths documented in "I wanted to live" is powerful in itself, yet each individual casualty must not get lost in statistics. The human dimension is what makes the words projected on the screen so potent; by giving attention to the very real challenges, struggles and suffering that migrants face, it helps the target audience to relate to and engage with the situation. It is at the same time a new approach to cinema itself.

For screening requests please email me via the contact form. Thank you.

Director´s statement:

"I wanted to live" an experimental documentary film.
It is a piece of contemporary history,
that hasn't finished yet.
The end of which seems incalculable.
The end of which is not written,
which could therefore become longer and longer.

We all know the horrible pictures,
the daily news about the unbearable conditions of migration.
The dead boy on the sandy beach.
The stowaways, that suffocated in the holds of trucks and ships.
The boats, overcrowded with people, we know the fact,
that countless more have capsized on their journey.
The suicides of fugitives,
who are threatened with deportation to prison and torture.

"I wanted to live" delivers the credits to this drama.
The film is a document to contemplate.

A digital memorial.

It questions the activity of watching.
It questions the role of the spectator watching,
how something happens. Or who looks away.
Maybe we don't know, how to watch.

"I wanted to live" questions our relationship to the news.
And the news pictures delivered with it.
Pictures that stick to the wounds like a plaster,
that they're picking up themselves.
The pictures in "I wanted to live" are created from words.

The film also questions the role of cinema,
and at the same time offers it new possibilities:

The cinema as a memorial.
The cinema as a place of silence.
The sound of the silence of the cinema hall.
The cinema hall as a shelter,
as a place for personal, possibly new experience,
away from the noisy discourse,
away from the usual narration.

The cinema can give a space to the names of the victims!
Because behind every name there is a whole world and a destiny,
to whom the cinema can (return) the memory and empathy of the spectator.

The film is unabridged.
A film that provokes people to walk,
which is the end of the argument.
A movie that doesn't seem to have an ending.
A movie that must have an ending.
A film that calls for personal action.

The film itself deals with the living, who are shown to the viewer in their hope, their obstacles, their struggle - no matter how it ends. What interests us here is the attempt to show the lost struggle, the disappearance (in the water, under the ground). The motionless, silence, that which lies beyond the film images. Without pictures, one can still get an idea of it. That, too, is cinema.

Christian Alexander Rogler