“Why do I dream of war?” asks director Sebastian Heinzel. His grandfather was in Belarus during World War II. Can traumatic experiences such as war, violence and destruction be passed on to subsequent generations via our genes? Together with his father the filmmaker searches for clues in a traumatic past.
A Wehrmacht tank makes its way through a birch forest at night. The animated opening sequence shows us the director's recurring nightmares. He uses family pictures to tell of his two grandfathers; one died early, the other was successful with his handicraft business. Heinzel often travelled to Belarus as a filmmaker. Was this subconsciously related to his grandfather having fought there in the war? Heinzel makes use of trauma research and findings from the field of epigenetics, according to which stress experiences are passed on to future generations. Accompanied by his father, Heinzel traces the atrocities committed by the Wehrmacht in Belarus. The director follows in the footsteps of his grandfather and asks questions about the latter's guilt. His Belarusian interlocutors are ready to forgive. They advise him to accept what happened. Sebastian Heinzel is the only German to take part in a staged re-enactment of the Battle of Berlin. In the uniform of the Luftwaffe. WMH