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Shoeslapping in Africa (Plattln in Umtata)

Shoeslapping in Africa
Scene from "Shoeslapping in Africa" (photo © Filmkraft Filmproduktion/Munich)

Shoeslapping in Africa follows the Biermoesl Blosn, a Bavarian folklore band, to Africa. Meeting musicians and artists of South Africa’s and Namibia’s old and new folklore and armed with a harp, a viola, alpenhorns and a barrel organ, the three musicians celebrate a cultural dialogue through music and dance. While Bavarians Harfengstanzel’n (harp dance music), Schuhplattler (shoe slappers) and South Africans Gumboot Dance, Munich and Soweto collide with each other, the satirical artists from conservative Bavaria get to know the world of Africa’s people in a melting pot of cultures in a far away land. The “Plattler“ of the black miners tells the Biermoesl Blosn about the history of South Africa and Namibia: stories of racial segregation, apartheid and colonial veal sausages under the equator – or how the Schuhplattler came to Africa...


Peter Heller has conducted many film seminars under the auspices of the Goethe-Institut in East and West Africa, Finland, USA, India and Italy. He has worked as a lecturer at universities, and is the author and co-author of numerous books, a founding member of the German Media Advisory Council for Political Development, of the Distribution Coop of Filmmakers and the international film network \"Zebra\". A selection of his films includes: Das Geschaeft mit der Party (1975), Usambara (1980) The Forgotten Fuhrer (1982), Jungleburgers (1985), African Lady (1988), The Death of Ares (1995), General Mama (1997), Cottonmoney & The Global Jeans (2001), Woven Earth (2003), Moschee Hassan II (2005), and Shoeslapping in Africa (Plattln in Umtata, 2007), among others.
Genre Culture, Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2007
Director Peter Heller
Screenplay Peter Heller
Cinematography Otmar Schmid
Heiko Feld, Thomas Balkenhol
Corroboration Gumboot Dancers, Gerhard Polt, Biermoesl Blosn, Conscious Marimba
Producer Peter Heller
Production Company Filmkraft Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk, WDR, in cooperation with Goethe-Institut/Johannesburg
Length 92 min
Format color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern
German Distributor STUDIOCANAL/Berlin

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