Rainer Langhans was born on 19 June 1940 in Oschersleben/Bode near Magdeburg as the first of four children of Susanne and Hartwig Langhans. The sisters are now teachers, the brother a physicist. The father, Dr. rer. nat. and aeronautical engineer, later owner of car dealerships.
His mother graduated in chemistry. 1943 the family moves to Pomerania, Stolpmünde. In 1945 Rainer and his family flee the Red Army to Jena, where their grandparents live. There he attends elementary school and plays roller hockey.
Here he experiences the occupation of Thuringia by the Americans, then the Russians. He becomes a young pioneer in GDR education. 1953-1960 he moves with his family to West Germany, from Berlin to Cologne, then Ingolstadt and Villingen/Black Forest, finally Remscheid.
Until his Abitur in 1960 he attended the boarding school of the Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine in Königsfeld/ Black Forest. In the years 1960-1961 Rainer Langhans is with the German Federal Armed Forces. Here he voluntarily commits himself further for half a year. There he becomes an ensign in the reserve. 1962-1969 he studied at the Free University of Berlin. First two semesters of law, then he switches to psychology. He abandoned his undergraduate thesis because of differences with the professor and his political work. From 1964 he worked in the Argumentclub. In 1965 he started working for SDS. At the age of 25 Rainer has his first “real” girlfriend, Birgit. In 1967 he became a member of the national board of the SDS. Then follows his entry into Commune I: Pudding attack, as well as exclusion from the SDS, Shah demo in front of the Deutsche Oper, the release campaign for Fritz Teufel, the arsonist trials and various happenings and actions.
In 1968 he withdraws with the commune to a factory in Berlin Moabit. His subcultural life there is dominated by drugs and music. Here he meets Uschi Obermaier at the 1st Essen Song Festival. He makes contacts on London trips with the Arts Lab and does video experiments. Rainer makes friends with the Munich Women’s Community and the music community Amon Düül.
When at the end of 1969 the community is destroyed by rockers, he moves to Munich with Uschi. 1970 – 1972 he then lives in the Highfish community founded with Uschi and others. Further communities follow as well as the attempt of a pop group. Trips to London to Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones and various drug experiments follow. A “marriage attempt” with Uschi also falls in this time.
1971 Actor in Haytabo alongside Eddie Constantine, directed by Ulli Lommel Working with his own Super-8 camera on a kind of long-term documentary on narrow film (Nizo 156 XL). At the same time first small black and white video experiments (Shibaden).
1972 On July 20, initiation by Master Kirpal Singh into Surat Shabd Yoga, a challenging path within End of drug experiments (hashish, LSD). Since then about 10 years of living in broom closets and retreat from the scene, the “world”. Intensive work on meditation and theory of spirituality. Fasting experiments. Try living in the country.
1974/75 Jobs: Work with Fassbinder as actor and assistant director (Welt am Draht, Nora Helmer, Angst essen Seele auf, Effi Briest). Gluing of hippie bags, sale of savings contracts according to the 624-DM-law, delivery of (printing) clichés. Lives in small communities of women with Irm Herrmann, later with Jutta Winkelmann and Gisela Getty. Filming in Sicily: Jutta Winkelmann and Rainer Langhans play in the film Das Tal der Blinden (H.G. Wells) by Pete Ariel (ZDF).
1976 R. L. moves into an apartment alone for the first time (he still lives there today). The later harem, with Brigitte Streubel, Jutta Winkelmann, Gisela Getty, Anna Werner, is formed.
1978 role in Peter Fleischmann’s film Die Hamburger Krankheit. Christa Ritter joins the group. On 2 May 1978, guest on the talk show Auf den ersten Blick by Werner Höfer, whom Rainer “transformed from host to speechless guest with disarming charm” (Bunte).
1978-1981 Further film roles. First attempts at writing. Private print about the 10 year retreat Die Mitte der Dunkelheit, published by Brigitte Streubel, Christa Ritter, Jutta Winkelmann.
1981 Participation in the Orange Connection congress of the Sanyassins of Bhagwan at the Berlin CCC with Rudolf Bahro and Jörg Andrees Elten, among others
1982-1984 Start of work with the Green Party, including candidacy for the Federal Executive Committee, and with Rudolf Bahro at the AG Kommune wagen, speaker in Rudolf Bahro’s Niederstattfeld learning workshop. Conversations with C. F. von Weizsäcker, Petra Kelly. Together with the women publishing a fanzine entitled “!”. Disc surgery. Without muzzle: Salzburg 68 meeting with Günther Nenning. Participation with the harem in the congress Gemeinde wagen der Grünen at Stettenfels Castle, among others with Rudolf Bahro.
1985 accidental death of the father. Die Leute der K1 (ARD), a documentary about the commune I by Georg Hafner
1986 The book Theoria diffusa is published by Greno-Verlag Further discussions with C. F. von Weizsäcker. Participation in small feature films of the HFF-Munich. The foundation has to come! In the taz, R. L. makes a strong plea for a Green Foundation. Readings with Theoria diffusa.
1987 Participation in the panel discussion Forever Young, Rebels of Today on the occasion of the exhibition Shock and Creation in Munich with Peter Sloterdijk, Astrid Proll, Bommi Baumann, Antje Vollmer. Speech at the extraordinary federal assembly of the Greens on the question of foundations. Founding member of the Heinrich Böll Foundation of the Greens in Cologne. Video 8 and Hi 8 are used for professional television for the first time.
1988 Shoots with Christa Ritter “Ein Neuss Begräbnis” about the death of Wolfgang Neuss (BR). 20 years ’68. congress of the SDS Prima Klima. Speech about the New Social Movements. Book published by Bauer-Verlag Stories of true love
1989 TV documentary Want the 4th Reich? with Christa Ritter, Jutta Winkelmann, Brigitte Streubel. Lengthy collaboration as a speaker in Rudolf Bahro’s learning workshop in the Eifel. Big taz interview with consequences: There’s nothing to do, let’s do it! The failed God search of the Nazis and the hopeless anti-fascism of the left
1990 Love my ass: The most beautiful couple of the APO, TV-Film (WDR) by Christa Ritter with the collaboration of Rainer Langhans, nominated for the Grimme Award
1991 Shoots two more TV documentaries for WDR with Christa Ritter: Stand up and quietly say no to GDR youths shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and The Perversion of the Persian about Lisa Fitz and her husband. Criticism of Rainer Langhans’ salon fascism in: R. Hethley (Ed.): In the best of company and other publications such as Handbuch des Rechtsradikalismus. Participation in the congress West-Eastern Visions in Berlin, with Rudolf Bahro, Bärbel Bohley, Petra Kelly and others.
1992-1993 Shoots with Christa Ritter SchneeweißRosenrot, a feature documentary for cinema and television about the twins Gisela Getty and Jutta Winkelmann (rating: especially valuable). The group makes the video films Fatima Mernissi: The Power of the Hip and Camilla Paglia: A Woman in Rage. The group reveals itself to be a harem. Performance in Ulrich Meyer’s appeal! (SAT 1 – ratings winner). Further appearances in talk shows. Municipal meeting in Kleinmachnow (1992): West German experiences and East German interest in founding municipalities are to be networked. Speaker at a congress in Hamburg with anthroposophical and other young people from East and West Title: Chaos turns into chance. Congress in the Stuttgart State Theatre on the 25th anniversary of 1968, title: ’68, the year; the whole community is present, including Fritz Teufel, Dieter Kunzelmann, Peter Schneider, Christof Wackernagel, Gretchen Dutschke and the harem.
1994 Awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize for SchneeweissRosenrot in Marl for writing and directing (with Christa Ritter) Shoots with the harem Langhans, Devil and the Women, a report for Spiegel TV.
1995 Screenplay research with Christa Ritter in India and Pakistan for a feature film based on Tehmina Durrani’s book Mein Herr und Gebieter Shoots with Christa Ritter Fisch mit Fahrrad, TV film about the triathlon fighter Klaus Hetzel for ZDF (nominated for the Grimme Prize). Lecture at the Peace University in Berlin, in which the Dalai Lama, C. F. von Weizsäcker, Patti Smith and others also took part.
1996 Shoots with Christa Ritter, the TV movie Todespioniere (SDR) about near-death experiences. 1997 Guest together with Austria’s Consul General at the First Hemp Menu of Germany, a hashish event of a different kind in Munich. Participation in the Benno-Ohnesorg-Congress in Berlin. Jutta Ditfurth calls Rainer an eso-fascist. Rainer is doused with paint, a desperate brawl because of him. Congress is bursting. 30 years after the murder of Benno Ohnesorg, the fragmented left is trying to get back together again.
1998-2003 Regular Jour Fixes with former SDS activists and finally biography group monthly
1998 event (of the Munich Harem with the Berlin Wohlfühungskommittee) of the festival Ready to Ruck in the Berlin Tempodrom with dervishes, rock, Tibetan monks, discussions, techno night. Potlatch of the tribes of the consciousness enlargers. Participation in the Hanfparade.
1998-2002 Participation in the Love Parade
2001 Meeting of 68 in Munich
2002 Death of the mother after a long period of care
2003 In February a week of commune counters (commune – 5 women + 1 man) in an apartment, with cameras around the clock, for the city channels tv.münchen and tv.berlin. Afterwards, manufacture your own frame from the material
2004-2007 collaboration on the Uschi Obermaier film Das wilde Leben
2005 Participation in the Historians’ Congress of Protest Researchers in Heidelberg about 1968 with American and German SDSers
2006 Reunion with the communards for a joint photo for the Spiegel. Participation in the cover story about the municipality 1
2007 Production of a film for Spiegel-TV ( with the women): The Heart of the Revolt – From Commune I to the Communities on the Internet. Participation in the meeting of the digital bohemia in Berlin 9to5 “We call it work”.
2008 books It’s me. The first 68 years and K1. The picture book of the commune 1. Small news blog: Interesting and new. Own website
2011 Participation in the most successful jungle camp
2017 Book So is. Selfies from the commune to Trump. Accompanying Jutta as she dies.
Notes from Christa Ritter:
1976 Gisela Getty moves back to California (She is then no longer in Munich for a long time, only short visits)
1987 Christa Ritter hosts a panel discussion, Rainer is the host.
1989 Neuss funeral without Brigitte Streubel
1992-93 Christa Ritter produced (shooting team Harem)
1995 (no feature film) researching for a WDR documentary about the secret “harem” in Muslim Pakistan. Christa and Rainer live three weeks in the harem of the Begum Themina Durrani
1998 in Tempodrom and Congress Hall
2008 “Picture book of the AI” with Christa Ritter
2013 HFF graduation film (co-production BR) as Jutta Winkelmann’s spiritual journey to India (with Christa Ritter and Brigitte Streubel)
2017 #soists with Christa Ritter as ghostwriter and publisher