IN THE VALLEY OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON‘T KNOW
„The heart attack of the Berlinale“
Emanuele di Nicola - Bookciak Magazine
„A trip down memory lane that is rife with absurdities...
an excursion into an alien, bygone world.“
René Wildangel - Qantara
„One of the most original, funny and at the same time
melancholic films of the Berlinale 2019“
Andrea D’Addio - Goethe Institut
"Incredible how this film works as a documentary-comedy and can be seen
until the triumphant and magnificently grotesque final image"
Lars Dolkemeyer - Kino-Zeit
"A very unique Heimat-film for today."
Felix Denk - fluter magazine
„An extremely intelligent documentary essay about the exile
in space and time“
Malik Berkati - j:MAG magazine
Shadowed by weekly, racist demonstrations in East Germany former factory workers of the German Democratic Republic together with Syrian refugees share the memories of their lost homelands.
The attempt of a convergence, a socialist utopia.
30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain the legacy of the German Democratic Republic is at stake in the ruins of the ‘Progress’ factory.
Once producing harvester machinery the factory grounds today house asylum seekers who are confronted by weekly racist demonstrations in East Germany.
Former factory workers of ‘Progress’ help Syrian refugees with their German Integration Course. What starts with a German language lesson in the ‘Progress’ ruin ends with classes of political education and a GDR military camp. Driven by the personal entanglement of the director the re-enactments are deconstructed and the social conditioning of the GDR everyday life becomes apparent.
In this memory work the language itself is of importance which invites assumptions, but never confirms them. It wallows in memories and forbids itself to do so at the same time.
Archive material re-establishes the bond of a socialist friendship between the GDR and Syria that connected both countries in the 1980s. The local choir comments with GDR-songs whereby everyone and everything stands for more than just himself.
The ‘Progress’ ruin becomes a symbol of the lost homeland which blurs the borders between the GDR and Syria and between the past and today. The attempt of a convergence, a socialist utopia.
director & writer: FLORIAN KUNERT
cinematography: JOANNA PIECHOTTA
sound design: STEFAN VOGLSINGER
script & editing consulting: HERBERT SCHWARZE
research: CHRISTIAN BLÄSCHE
narrative practice consultant: POH LIN LEE
producers: STEFAN GIEREN, SARAH SCHREIER
A production of THE STORYBAY.
Interview with Florian Kunert
Radio Interview with Florian Kunert
RBB - Radio One - Knut Elstermann