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photo © André Sschäfer/FLORIANFILM GmbH

Deutschboden – A Participatory Observation is “one of the best books about reunified Germany” as the Süddeutsche Zeitung called it. The author Moritz von Uslar takes a close at hand but nevertheless spectacular step for his novel by simply leaving Berlin to immerse himself into the everyday life of a small East German town just 60 km away.

On the outskirts of the big city, in Brandenburg, von Uslar sets off in pursuit of East German clichés like unemployment, alcoholism, emigration and right-wing radicalism. With great empathy and intuition, Uslar observes and describes what he discovers in the provincial town of Zehdenick: homeland pension, a pils at the bar, a barbecue under the German flag, hanging out at the Aral petrol station – and the everyday life of young men who, although they may not have a particularly great future ahead of them, have a pretty keen sense of humor. The film is – just like the book – a thoughtful story involving insider observations which makes for a great piece of contemporary history. It describes Germany, 20 years after the reunification, in a sometimes drastic but always loving and completely original way.
Genre History, Literature
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2013
Director André Schäfer
Screenplay André Schäfer
Cinematography Andy Lehmann
Cast Moritz von Uslar, 5 Teeth Less
Producer Marianne Schäfer
Production Company FLORIANFILM/Cologne, in co-production with WDR, RBB, cine plus Filmproduktion
Runtime 93 min
Format DCP, Blu-ray, DVD, color, 1:1.85
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Munich 2013
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, BKM
German Distributor W-film Distribution

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