Since German Classicism, it has become customary to translate extreme, emotional events into a ballad, a popular form of song. This ‘Balladen Magazin’ brings Cossack lamentations, the horrors of the war in Chechnya, and the execution of the unfortunate Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, among others.

Alexander Kluge recites (from) various texts, seated in front of a screen onto which his carefully recited words are projected in a strongly articulated graphic style – Van Ostaijen or Apollinaire are not far off. The narrator brings excerpts from writings, novellas, and novels by, among others, Martin Heidegger, Frank Wedekind, Ingeborg Bachmann or Friedrich von Schiller; his very image often smothered by the texts on the screen.

Aside from this, Die Liebe stört der kalte Tod contains footage from historical archives of the persons and events the narrator mentions: quite often very dark, hard visual material. Again, Kluge consciously balances on the edge between ‘reality’, fiction, and delusion. In this way, he ‘stages’ a funeral in which the funeral wreaths bear the names of the German couple Herbert & Johannah Quandt, who made their fortune in industry, the late industrial Friedrich Karl Flick, and past Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl, or intersects the historical fragments with outtakes from Hollywood cinema.