Deutschland 09

One of the highly anticipated films in the main section of the Berlinale was the German Anthology Collection DEUTSCHLAND 09 – 13 SHORT FILMS ABOUT THE STATE OF THE NATION. Initiated and produced by Tom Tykwer and Dirk Wilutzky’s production company Herbstfilm, the film was produced by Dirk Wilutzky and Verena Rahmig. Using fact, fiction and a few hybrids, some of Germany’s top emerging and established filmmakers offer interesting and inspiring snippets of subjects, they themselves and the German people struggle with these days.

Dominik Graf’s thoughtful contribution THE ROAD WE DON’T WALK TOGETHER (DEN WEG, DEN WIR NICHT ZUSAMMEN GEHEN) questions the quickly changing faces of inner cities architecture – and criticizes the demolish ion of old architecture – this way important parts of contemporary German history are erased.

In FEIERLICH TRAVELS (FEIERLICH REIST) by Tom Tykwer, German actor Benno Fuermann, who could have stepped right out of a fashion commercial, travels the world as a successful business man – but other than the changing cityscapes and the color of the straw he stirs his tomato juice with, nothing else changes – he always stays at the same hotel chain, always finds a Starbucks, is always served a glass of tomato juice by an always friendly stewardess…. no matter what time of day and what corner of the world. Slick, clean and stylized the film shows how our world has become one global brand.

Romuald Karmakar’s documentary RAMSES is focused and most provocative – the filmmaker interviews a Persian bordello owner in Berlin who talks openly about his clients, their preferences and perversions. At the closing of the short, the camera pulls out into the street, as we hear Mahmoud Rahimzadiany talk about his dream to return home – and how much he thanks the German people for their hospitality. An ambiguous closing remark that leaves a more bitter than sweet taste.

Two more short that caught my attention were Fatih Akin’s kammerspiel BEING MURAT KURNAZ (DER NAME MURAT KURNAZ). Based on an interview Murat Kurnaz gave after his release from Guantanamo, where he was imprisoned for nearly 5 years. This short poses the urgent question why top officials in Germany failed to act faster – even though they knew about his case.

Hans Weingartner’s PREVENTIVE ACTION (GEFAEHRTER), also based on true story, focuses on a university professor with a political conscience and his fate. The film depicts how in a paranoid system, an honest activist can easily be twisted into a terrorist suspect.
This anthology series also features contributions by Wolfgang Becker, Sylke Enders, Christoph Hochhaeusler, Nicolette Krebitz, Dani Levy, Angela Schanelec, Hans Steinbichler and Isabelle Stever.

For more information on the film, please visit:


About Author

Tanja Meding

Tanja Meding :Since moving to New York from Germany in 2003, Tanja Meding has worked as a producer for Maysles Films and other independent production companies. Amongst others, she produced SALLY GROSS-THE PLEASURE OF STILLNESS by Albert Maysles and Kristen Nutile which aired on WNET/Thirteen and Channel 25 and is now available on DVD from Since 2007, Tanja has been producing short films by Rosane Chamecki, Andrea Lerner and Phil Harder: JACKIE & JUDY premiered at DANCE ON CAMERA at LINCOLN CENTER was awarded with a PEARL at the POOL 2010 Festival in Berlin. Upcoming this September is a video installation of two new shorts: BOXING and THE COLLECTION at NY's newly opened New York Live Arts building in Chelsea. In addition, Tanja is the co-producer of Gabriella Bier's LOVE DURING WARTIME, a documentary about an Israeli dancer and her Palestinian husband. The film had its US premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and is distributed in the US through 7th Art Releasing. Furthermore, she is the US co-producer of Pascale Obolo's documentary CALYPSO ROSE, LIONESS OF THE JUNGLE. Currently in development with Claudia Brazzale is RETRACING STEPS, a portrait documentary about a group of international dancers and choreographers and their lives 20 years after they first met in NYC.

Leave A Reply