One region – many facets: Lusatia at the 28th FFC


The section Homeland | Domownja | Domizna at the 28th FilmFestival Cottbus presents new and exciting insights into and prospects for the region of Lusatia. Two Austrians in particular contribute to this alongside regional artists. By looking into the history of Carinthian Slovenes the FFC addresses a topic that is of equal importance for Lusatia: an ethnic minority’s past during National Socialism. A world première in two respects offers a view of the (film) region Lusatia.

“Each year, the section follows a kind of guiding theme. Following industry, mother tongue and tradition, it is structural change this year, which is prevalent in Lusatia”, says curator Dr Grit Lemke regarding the concept behind the film section HOMELAND I DOMOWNJA I DOMIZNA.

With Austrian-born Bernhard Sallmann this year’s homage honours a film maker who has been exploring the region on film for nearly 20 years. In his Lusatian trilogy – THE FREEDOM OF THE TREES, LAUSITZ 20X90 and DREAMS OF THE LAUSITZ – Sallmann portrays a landscape that is both wounded and enchanted, and people who reinvent themselves and their country. In an additional workshop talk, Sallmann will discuss, among other matters, the question of what hiking has to do with films.

Carinthian artist and film maker Karl Vouk first travelled to Lusatia in 2011; he has been exploring the destruction of landscape and culture through mining in numerous works and exhibitions. His contribution NATURE_NATURE | PŚIRODA_PŚIRODA systematically excludes humans. The film switches back and forth between nature and mining on a visual level. Yet something is not quite right: the soundtrack remains unaffected by the change of imagery.

“I am particularly looking forward to ONCE WE ARE DANCING. It is the first feature-length documentary that was produced in Lusatia and now will celebrate its world première at our festival”, explains Lemke. The film by Dirk Lienig, Dirk Heth and Olaf Winkler illustrates how people in the shrinking town of Hoyerswerda overcome their agony and open up to new things through and during dancing. 

“Of great importance are also contributions in the Sorbian language – this year, among others, AND TRUTH UPRISES | GAŽ WĚTŠYK DUJOabout the fascinating Sorbian writer Mina Witkojc“, Grit explains another key aspect of the section. Sorbian music forms the basis for the latest work by artist Maja Nagel – wage peacez wójny jědu… – a cinematic hybrid on the topic of war and peace.

The section HOMELAND | DOMOWNJA | DOMIZNA traditionally also casts a glance at a region where a linguistic minority is confronted with a fight for linguistic survival comparable to that of the Sorbs and Wends in Lusatia. This year Andrina Mračnikar describes in WITH DEATH AS THE ONLY CERTAIN FATE the pressure to adapt weighing on the Carinthian Slovenes in southern Austria.

Link to the Programme of Section Homeland | Domownja | Domizna

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