Merkel on SBS – For years, Angela Merkel, the first woman Chancellor of Germany, was Western Europe’s most powerful leader.

Nonetheless, she remains something of an enigma. Clear-eyed, cool-headed, diligent, and methodical, she put her politics first, setting ideology aside.

A pastor’s daughter who grew up behind the iron curtain in the former DDR (East Germany), Merkel re-invented herself after the fall of the Berlin Wall to become “the world’s most powerful woman” (Forbes, 2020), often outsmarting and outstaying her male opponents. But despite her historic 16-year Chancellorship of Germany, the international public still knows very little about her.

Using vast archive materials and interviews with those who know her – friends, journalists, political allies, and critics – the film creates a rich portrait, from Merkel’s upbringing in communist East Germany, studies in quantum chemistry, her surprising start in politics and fast ascent.

It reminds us how Merkel’s success came despite the double standards facing women leaders – the hard judgment and incessant scrutiny – and makes a case for politics marked by truth and integrity.

Merkel on SBS and SBS on Demand – Tuesday 21 November, 2023 at 8.30pm

TV Central SBS content HERE

Merkel on SBS