About the film
A woman from a big city moves to a small village near the former border zone between East and West Germany. What is she looking for? What will she encounter? Rural life in the era of globalisation turns into an adventure. History lives in objects, stories and customs here since it was first recorded 800 years ago. Wars and famines have left their traces, just as churches, political parties and various forms of government. The change of the times, structured by television, has almost obscurely changed the old rhythms of life; supermarket offers changed eating habits and food stock economy. Is it folklore nostalgia or a matter of preserving one’s way and quality of life to keep the old customs and habits, such as preserving old types of plants and boiling down cucumbers? The village - a mutual exchange of experiences and garden products. The village is like an onion: it shows ever new surprising layers and leads us deep into unwritten pasts.
From a review
„The village is just a village – it is my village. I think I’ll go to the village festival.“ The last words of filmmaker Helke Sander were barely spoken when, as the credits rolled across the screen, the audience applauded and cheered. The audience in the sold out Theater 4, the largest theater of the Filmpalast cinema, was visibly impressed by the film about Kortenbeck and its 121 inhabitants. The village itself lay obviously empty on this Saturday afternoon. Mayor Bernd Olms explained: „I think there are only five people left in town. Almost all inhabitants were in the theatre…“
Germany 2001. Digital Beta, color and b/w, 90 minutes. Production: Helke Sander Filmproduktion, in cooperation with mdr and NDR TV stations. Director and script: Helke Sander. Directing assistant: Barbara Milde. Camera: Roswitha Ziegler, Gerhard Ziegler. Sound: Hanno Krieg, Matthias Wrage. Set Design: Jürgen Rieger. Cut: Helke Sander, Roland Musolff. Music: Barbara Milde. Production Manager: Ulrike Zimmermann. Editors: Beate Schönfeldt, Rainer Markgraf.
Cast: The inhabitants of Kortenbeck
First broadcast: December 15, 2001.
Premiere: November 11, 2001, in Salzwedel, Germany (Filmpalast Cinema).