Filmpreis „Leipziger Ring“< >
Prize of the Jury for the Stiftung Friedliche Revolution for the best documentary about the subject of democracy
Dirk Heth and Olaf Winkler (Germany) for the film
Der Große Irrtum (The Great Fallacy)
“Der große Irrtum” is a quiet, contemplative film which does not speak of civil war or bloody uprisings. Instead, the film asks, in the name of the following generation, how much is a human being worth, and if humans must serve the market, or whether it should be the other way round.
“Der große Irrtum” clears up both the myth that everybody can have a place in the so-called first labour market, i.e. the competitive labour market, and the mistaken belief that there is a working life outside the judgement of the market. The film attacks a blind spot in the public debate: the unemployment of European youth in the future, a topic which is rarely addressed so openly. The UN forecasts that 600 million jobs will have to be around the world in the next ten years.
Dirk Heth and Olaf Winkler take this perspective in their film and embark on a very personal search in Eggesin, a small town in one of Germany’s structurally weakest regions. There the film makers observe initial attempts to rethink – attempts to instigate a radical transformation process. People are portrayed over several years who have no other aim in life but to be of use to others. Under no circumstances do they want to live off the state, and so they bounce from one precarious job to another. Yet they never give up. They provide help to each other and they become inventive: the film explores the idea of civic work and shows politicians, from both East and West, who demonstrate considerable patience and passion dealing with the misery of people who seem to be of no use to society and yet who stubbornly defend their vision of a society in which each human being can be useful. The result of the filmmakers’ efforts are affectionate portraits of people who never resign, who maintain their dignity and who see the meaning of life in their work for others. We get to know strong personalities who are depicted in an almost tender pictorial language, and we also get to know authors who take questions about the value of human beings and the meaning of work personally when they ask them in the name of their own children. The result is a letter to children that is written in a literary format which, remarkably, resembles that chosen by the protagonists of the 1988 “Ecumenical Meeting” in the former GDR.
Eggesin asks the questions concerning the future of Europe’s youth, and the people there are trying to answer them in a patient and passionate way.
Because passion needs stamina and patience.