SECTION: Homeland/Domownja/Domizna

This year's edition of Heimat/Domownja/Domizna shows various aspects of a major theme. The coal commission, the Lusatian Round, the energy revolution – structural change is omnipresent in Lusatia.

BLAST EXCAVATOR 1010, which reflects the tension between industrialisation/technical progress and the destruction of nature/loss of home as already being an issue in the Weimar Republic through the medium of a classic silent film, shows that the problem is not new and not limited to Lusatia. An absolute rarity and exciting discovery, also because of the avant-garde music.

How people in a shrinking town redefine their place in working society through dancing – in powerful strides to Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" – is impressively demonstrated in the documentary film ONCE WE ARE DANCING in its world premiere.

The choice of this year's homage could not have been more appropriate. For the first time, it is dedicated to an artist who is not a Lusatian. With his work, however, he has described the upheaval in the region, the consequences of mining and the traces it has left on nature over the last two decades like no other. With his contemplative hikes through the landscape, the Austrian-born Bernhard makes it possible to see his "homeland" of Lusatia in a completely new and different way. The reencounter with his Lusatian trilogy (2003-2009), which was shot during the International Building Exhibition Fürst-Pückler-Land, clearly conveys the feeling of a landscape that – in the spirit of Pückler – can never be understood as being in a finished state, but always in a process of evolving. This is also confirmed by Sallmann's brand new film SPREELAND. FONTANE, dedicated to Fontane's "Spreeland". FONTANE. As is our tradition, the homage will be accompanied by a workshop discussion.

Interestingly, three Austrian filmmakers are represented in our Heimat series this year. Like Bernhard Sallmann, the Carinthian Slovenian Karl Vouk has been drawn to Lusatia for many years, and he has dealt in numerous works and exhibitions with the destruction of landscape and culture by mining. And, like his compatriot, he makes use of an experimental, metrically austere cinematic structure – with a disturbing effect.

Carinthian Slovenian Andrina Mračnikar dedicates herself to a subject which is just as virulent in Lusatia: the past of her people, an ethnic minority in Austria, under National Socialism. She interweaves native language eyewitness accounts of old women and men with her own very personal views into impressive testimonies of past and ongoing discrimination. She will give an insight into her work during a workshop – also in the light of the fact that a similar reappraisal of the past still has to be done for the Sorbs/Wends.

And because their own language is so indispensable, Sorbian films also have their place in our programme: on the occasion of the 125th birthday of the Sorbian poetess Mina Witkojc, who was born not far from Cottbus, in Burg in the Spreewald, we will be presenting a portrait of her in the original language version. In another artist portrait produced in 2018, Roman Pernack, a Berliner with Sorbian roots, dedicates himself to the Sorbian composer Juro Mětšk. Sorbian music also forms the basis for the new work by the artist Maja Nagel, who was already the subject of an homage at our festival: a cinematic hybrid on the theme of war and peace. Anna Kindermann, a film student from Cottbus, joins the ranks of local filmmakers and their remarkable works with a small film on a big topic. GL

The section Heimat/Domownja/Domizna is supported by the Foundation for the Sorbian People.

A Sorbian Folklore Group - Sprjewjan. Serbska Folklorna Skupina

A Sorbian Folklore Group - Sprjewjan. Serbska Folklorna Skupina

Eine sorbische Folkloregruppe - Sprjewjan. Serbska Folklorna Skupin

Michael Börner
GDR / 1987 / 16 min
Sorbian musical heritage, embedded in the Lusatian countryside, as depicted by this portrait of the folk ensemble Sprjewan, founded in 1979 and in existence to the current day. Who are the founding members and what motivated them to devote their ...
read more
When traces become visible

When traces become visible

Wenn Spuren sichtbar werden

Toni Bruk, Ladislav Volko
GDR, Czechoslovakia / 1983 / 18 min
“What are the roots of the present?” asks this collaboration between Sorbian and Slovak filmmakers with regard to the origins and diversity of the Sorbian language; an enquiry that takes them back to the Pan-Slavist movement.
read more
The Man who knew 75 Languages

The Man who knew 75 Languages

Mannen som kunne 75 språk

Anne Magnussen, Paweł Dębski
Norway, Poland, Lithuania / 2016 / 64 min
"To my mind language is the key to the human soul"; these were the words of German publicist and polyglot Georg Sauerwein (1831-1904) who applied his linguistic talents to the protection of minority languages, including Sorbian. This animated ...
read more
Echoes

Echoes

Resuns

Aline Suter, Céline Carridroit
Switzerland / 2014 / 51 min
Can a language also provide a home? In remote villages located across the canton of Graubünden around 35,000 people speak Romansch. In this poem constructed from imagery, sound, song and nursery rhyme the directors catch the echo of an ...
read more
Witaj means: I salute you

Witaj means: I salute you

Witaj heißt: Ich grüße dich

Peter Rocha
GDR / 1980 / 45 min
During the era of the German Empire Sorbian teacher and popular poet Fryco Rocha (1863-1942) not only taught Sorbian, which was in fact prohibited at the time, but also composed a number of poems, tales and songs in his mother tongue. The director ...
read more
Continent of Hope

Continent of Hope

Kontinent Hoffnung

Konrad Herrmann
GDR / 1978 / 31 min
Sorbian artist Heinrich Theodor Wehle (1778-1805) is widely regarded as one of the most eminent landscape painters of his time, and in fact often finds himself compared with the great Caspar David Friedrich. Threading an associative patchwork quilt ...
read more
Struga - Portrait of a Region

Struga - Portrait of a Region

Struga - Bilder einer Landschaft

Konrad Herrmann
GDR / 1972 / 30 min
A deserted village covered in nothing but ruins. An excavator eats into the land, as trees are felled. A Sorbian prayer in the village church. A folk club rehearses a Sorbian song. Power station workers chuckle to themselves. And then there is the ...
read more
In Search of the Promised Land. The Stories of Jurij Brězan

In Search of the Promised Land. The Stories of Jurij Brězan

Suche nach Glücksland. Die Geschichten des Jurij Brězan

Konrad Herrmann
GDR / 1989 / 49 min
Sorbian author Jurij Brězan, who passed away in 2006, was driven by his belonging to a people “under threat”, as well as the “eternal questions of mankind”. This biographical essay traces both of these strands by combining interview and ...
read more
Race Against Time. The Sorbs - Slavs in Germany

Race Against Time. The Sorbs - Slavs in Germany

Leben gegen die Zeit. Die Sorben - Slawen in Deutschland

Konrad Herrmann
Germany / 1993 / 46 min
Shortly after the German reunification, and shortly before the turn of the century, it was considered time for a brutally honest assessment of Sorbian identity and culture. The process of assimilation had proven onerous for this Slavic minority, as ...
read more
Portrait of a Central Point. A Film Based on the Sketches of Jurij Brě

Portrait of a Central Point. A Film Based on the Sketches of Jurij Brě

Porträt eines Mittelpunktes. Ein Film nach Skizzen von Jurij Brězan

Konrad Herrmann
GDR / 1976 / 23 min
“This is where I first encountered and understood the tales and songs of my people. This is where I've lived for a thousand years, and everything you see here belongs to me.” A journey of exploration to the world of a small people, to both its ...
read more
Overcoming Hatred. A Black Businessman in Hoyerswerda

Overcoming Hatred. A Black Businessman in Hoyerswerda

Sieg über den Hass. Ein schwarzer Geschäftsmann in Hoyerswerda

Konrad Herrmann
Germany / 1995 / 30 min
Ernesto Rafael Felice left his native Mozambique to study in East Germany, after which he ended up as a contract worker in Hoyerswerda, Bautzen. There he experienced first-hand the xenophobic riots of 1991, after which the majority of his fellow ...
read more
Land on water

Land on water

Land am Wasser

Tom Lemke
Germany / 2015 / 85 min
A deserted village near Weißenfels, whose inhabitants were relocated in the nineties to make way for the coal mining industry. Three inhabitants refuse to budge however: a metalworker, a farmer, and Norbert. Affectionately shot and full of ...
read more
Jo to dosć - Is it enough?

Jo to dosć - Is it enough?

Jo to dosć - Reicht das aus?

Stefan Göbel
Germany / 2016 / 4 min
A young Sorbian caught between love for her homeland and a sense of wanderlust. How does one unite tradition and progress when there is such a fine line between cliché and culture? Is it possible to tread new paths and have an open mind to more ...
read more
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok