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Claudia Geisler (photo © Steffen Junghans/TATFILM 2003)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2004

Originally, Saxonia Media had been developing this film which marks the first in the Debut Film series launched by regional public fund Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM) and broadcaster MDR in autumn 2002, but TATFILM was then approached to take over the handling of the production of Beate F. Neumann’s first feature since the Bavaria Film subsidiary is not allowed to co-produce feature film projects.

As part of the Debut Film initiative, MDM and broadcaster MDR agree to jointly finance the production of low-budget debut films which are clearly located in the region and where the total production costs do not exceed €750,000.

The story written by Thomas Schwank focuses on a woman (played by Claudia Geisler) who lost her daughter in an accident and has to overcome the pain, grief and feelings of guilt about wanting to resume her own life. The film opens on what would have been the little girl's fifth birthday. Imke is in danger of being destroyed by the death of her child. Her husband Volker understands her pain, but wishes that normality would gradually return to their lives. He loves her, but doesn't know how they can find their way back to an everyday routine together. Of all people, it is the village's outsider Waller who is able to help her come to terms with her suffering by bringing a dark story from the past to the surface again.

"The location in Wahrenberg was perfect for the film," says producer Christine Ruppert, "because the story has to do with the former inner German border and the past. Some 80% of the locations were in the village and it was very pleasant shooting there. It was particularly good for a debut that we could be mainly in one location and didn't have the upheaval of moving from one place to another."

Ruppert recalls that the production suffered a blow when DoP Juergen Heimlich had to bow out due to injury in the middle of production, but she was luckily able to bring Rali Raltschev, the DoP on Samsara and Portrait of a Married Couple (Erste Ehe), onboard. "He was fantastic because he was able to align himself to Juergen's style of camerawork so that everything will be uniform."

The psychological drama will be completed by the spring, just in time for the summer festival circuit.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2004
Director Beate F. Neumann
Screenplay Thomas Schwank
Cinematography Juergen Heimlich, Rali Raltschev
Yvonne Loquens
Wolfgang Salomon
Angelika Boehm
Cast Claudia Geisler-Bading, Daniel Morgenroth, Max Hopp, Jutta Wachowiak, Barbara Morawiecz, Inge Blau
Producer Christine Ruppert
Production Company Tatfilm/Leipzig, in cooperation with MDR
Format color
Shooting Dates and around Wahrenberg/Saxony-Anhalt, November - December 2003
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
German Distributor Zephir Filmverleih/Cologne

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Christine Ruppert
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