The goodbye that the 15-year-old Henning experiences is more than the end of childhood. His father is responsible for clearing the open pit pre-field. A destroyed landscape, a village due for demolition and therein people who resist. Right down to the supporting roles, a top-class coming-of-age film and furthermore testimony of critical ecological awareness in the GDR.
Joachim Nowotny's film screenplay had already been rejected in 1981 and again in 1983. This is not surprising since it employs strong symbols in ruthlessly addressing ecological problems. The dialogues revolve around the topics of adaptation and resistance, rebellion and resignation, as well as the responsibility of the individual for his actions. The film, which would have been a sensation in the GDR, was only allowed to be made in 1989, and was shown on cinema screens in 1990; at the time it received little attention. Yet remarkably, thirty years on, it has lost none of its topicality. Jaecki Schwarz also contributes to this in the role of the father, who has found his place in life and yet shows signs of weakness. A showdown with the son on the edge of the opencast mine addresses issues that have retained relevance up to the present day: “Why do we have to do all of this?” - “Because you want to be warm.” There is no simple victim-perpetrator dichotomy in the work of Nowotny and director Rolf Losansky. A complexity that is often lacking today. GL