DEFA Sponsoring Prize< >
for an outstanding German documentary film
Mario Schneider (Germany) for the film
MansFeld (The Man’s Field)
Against the backdrop of huge stockpiles of overburden from open cast mines in the Mansfeld region, the director accompanies three very different families during their everyday life. They are in the process of preparing for Whitsun, an important event in this otherwise rather barren area. The film focuses on the children, their hopes and fears, as well as their dreams and activities.
The poetic camera captures faces and landscapes in quiet, clear and also mysterious pictures. Black and white archive footage from previous Whitsun holidays, when evil spirits were exorcised with whips, builds a bridge to the past. Thanks to the curiosity of the ethnographer and the empathy of the seeker of truth in the film, Mario Schneider has compressed his work into a playful reflection of God and the world, and a philosophical contemplation about the continuation of ancient times in modern life, thus demonstrating a region’s vitality and its strength to survive, and also that of its people.