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(Endstation der Sehnsuechte)

Scene from "Endstation der Sehnsuechte" (photo courtesy of Flying Moon Filmproduktion)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2008

"Never change a winning team" would be an appropriate motto for Korean-born Sung-Hyung Cho and the Berlin-based production company Flying Moon Filmproduktion after their surprise hit with her documentary Full Metal Village which won the Hessian Film Award and the Max Ophuels Award last year and has been seen by over 180,000 cinemagoers.

So, this year has seen Sung-Hyung and producer Helge Albers coming together on a new collaboration entitled Endstation der Sehnsuechte about ex-pat Koreans returning home after 30 years of living and working in Germany to spend their retirement in a purpose-built "German village".

"Full Metal Village and the new film both have a lot to do with Sung-Hyung's own biography [she was born in Korea in 1966 and has been living in Germany since 1990] and the way she has experienced being between the two cultures," Albers explains. "Endstation, though, is even more focused on her own biography and shows how these villagers see themselves being between two cultures."

In the 1960s and 1970s, many Koreans came to work in Germany as nurses and miners and are now at a stage in their lives where many decided to return to their homeland to spend their old age.

A local politician Kim Du Kwan on the island of Namhae, some 400 kilometers south of Seoul, came up with the idea of establishing a "Dogil Maeul", a "German Village", to make the ex-pats and their German spouses feel ‘at home’. He had relatives of his own in Germany and visited Korean communities there in 2001 to present the concept. Similar settlements have also been built with an American or Japanese theme since 2003.

"The film raises the question of how you can live between two cultures which are so different and how far you can or want to let go of your own culture," Albers continues. "There are also elements which go over and above this German-Korean relationship and where you have another level talking about identity and cultural misunderstandings in a very bizarre and amusing manner."

"Endstation der Sehnsuechte will definitely feel quite different from Full Metal Village because there isn't such an obvious structure in the film leading to a big event like the heavy metal concert," Albers adds. "Everything is more subtle in the way it is told and develops more from within the characters themselves. That is a new challenge for Sung-Hyung as a filmmaker."

This production comes as Flying Moon has two films currently in post-production – Anne Hoegh Krohn's music film Lovesong (Liebeslied), starring Jan Plewka and Nicolette Krebitz, and Uli Gaulke's documentary Pink Taxi whose DoP Axel Schneppat was also behind the camera for Endstation der Sehnsuechte. Flying Moon is also represented in this year's Official Competition in Locarno with the international co-production of Ben Hopkins' The Market.

Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2008
Director Sung-Hyung Cho
Screenplay Sung-Hyung Cho
Cinematography Axel Schneppat, Ralph Netzer, Stefan Grandinetti
Sung-Hyung Cho
Producers Helge Albers, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad
Production Company Flying Moon Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with 3sat/Mainz
 German, Korean
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM, Hessische Filmfoerderung, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
German Distributor Zorro Film/Munich

Flying Moon Filmproduktion GmbH
Seestrasse 96
13353 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-3 22 97 18 0
fax +49-30-3 22 97 18 11