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(Kein Himmel Ueber Afrika)

Scene from "Kein Himmel Ueber Afrika" (photo © ARD Degeto/Boris Guderjahn)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2004

A true story, Kein Himmel Ueber Afrika tells of Catherine (Veronica Ferres) who gives up her husband (Enrico Mutti) to live with adventurer and pilot Gordon Coburn (Jean-Hugues Anglade). They marry, move to an idyllic farm and she becomes pregnant. They quickly become the dream couple in the small town of Arushas, in Tanzania.

But Gordon suffers a terrible accident that changes his personality. He turns to alcohol, beats his wife and is plagued by traumatic visions. Drought causes the harvest to fail, financial problems mount, Gordon hits the bottle and Catherine suspects him of having an affair.

Returning home drunk one night, Gordon attacks Catherine and wrecks the house. She flees, a shot rings out and Gordon is found dead. Although it looks like suicide, Gordon’s parents succeed in having Catherine arrested and charged with murder. In Tanzania it carries the death penalty.

Wow! Pause for breath! Kein Himmel Ueber Afrika promises to be a production of superlatives, starting with the cast.

Playing the lead is Veronica Ferres. Her list of awards includes a Bambi, two Golden Cameras, Best Actress at the Pescara International Film Festival, the Adolf Grimme Award in Gold, the Bavarian Television Award and an Emmy.

“I was deeply moved by Kerstin’s fate,” says Ferres, who secured the rights to the story and whose production company Bella Vita Film (together with colleague Martin Krug), was instrumental in realizing the project. “Despite all she had been through, she was composed, calm and strong. But her eyes fascinated me. They reflected the incredibly complex nexus of the tragedy.”

Goetz George is one of the superstars of contemporary German cinema. With films such as Schtonk!, Rossini, Der Totmacher and countless television roles, this multi-award winning actor is a symbol of quality himself!

As Nico Hofmann, head of TeamWorx says, “Kein Himmel Ueber Afrika is the first large TeamWorx European production which also sets new qualitative standards. We have not only got a great cast but I am especially proud my colleague Joachim Kosack and I were able to persuade Roland Suso Richter to direct.”

Roland Suso Richter in two words? Der Tunnel. Enough said!
Genre Drama, Love Story, Melodrama

Year of Production 2004
Director Roland Suso Richter
Screenplay Heiko Schier
Cinematography Busso von Mueller
Bernd Schlegel
Nina Hann
Cast Veronica Ferres, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Enrico Mutti, Goetz George, Nikolai Kinski, Matthias Habich, Elisabeth Trissenaar
Producers Nico Hofmann, Joachim Kosack, Barbara Thielen, Veronica Ferres, Martin J. Krug, Hans-Wolfgang Jurgan, Jan Mojto
Production Company teamWorx Television & Film/Cologne, in co-production with Bella Vita Film/Munich, ARD Degeto, EOS Production/Munich
Format Super 16, color
Original Version
 German
Shooting Dates Kwazulu Natal/South Afrika, April - July 2004
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

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