Part two of Hans Jurgen Syberberg’s trilogy on the cultural formation of modern Germany (the other two installments are Ludwig, Requiem for a Virgin King and Our Hitler: A Film From Germany). Syberberg again uses the Wagnerian fusion of theater, cinema, music, and extreme length (185 minutes) that became his trademark, though this time his subject is not an Ubermensch but an ordinary man: Karl May, the author of innumerable pulp novels of the turn of the century, whose westerns and detective stories created what Syberberg views as a new German mythology to replace the crumbling classical models. May’s imaginative transformation of reality, Syberberg suggests, would later be literally reenacted by the Third Reich (1974).