DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Coal Country Song. Gundermann


Coal Country Song. Gundermann




CATALOGUE TEXT
“My swing stands in an enchanted garden, just behind the railway embankment. When I’m at the top of the swing, I see trains squealing by day and night, leaving black dust behind. They come from huge holes gaping between our villages. As a child I thought the whole world looked like this. Holes with villages in between, my swing in the middle. And the trains. They are coal trains.”

Gerhard Gundermann (1955–1998), singer-songwriter, poet and excavator operator in the Lusatian brown coal mines. In this region, global problems are condensed on a local level as if by a burning glass – from structural change to climate crisis. Mostly unpublished archive material and Gundermann’s songs enter into a dialogue with observations and conversations in his “district”, accompanied by the voice-over of the director, who is no less deeply rooted in the coal mining district. Home and its destruction through strip mining, utopian ideas and the question of individual responsibility run through the songs, as do their consequences for gainful employment and the environment at the end of the industrial age. And they are more topical than ever today: “Where my swing stood and later your excavator there is now a lake.”

Frederik Lang

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Credits
Original Title: Gundermann Revier Country: Germany Year: 2019 Language: German Subtitle: English, German Runtime: 98 min. Format: DCP Color: Colour and B&W Director: Grit Lemke Producer: Gregor Streiber Cinematographer: Uwe Mann Editor: Sven Kulik Sound: Oliver Prasnikar Script: Grit Lemke
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