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International Programme 2014
BrückenJahre Peter Benedix

The long lasting struggle of three Lusatian villages against demolition. A “bridge technology” from the point of view of those involved – including the coal miners. What’s more important: work or one’s home?


Documentary Film
98 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Benedix
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix, Andreas Albrecht
Peter Benedix
Fabian Koppri
Once a year the men of Kerkwitz meet to raise the maypole. Since 2008, Peter Benedix has been among them to follow their and the Lusatian villages of Atterwasch and Grabko’s struggle against the imminent excavation by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall. Four years after the spectacular “Limited Home” and financed mainly by crowd funding, he now delves even deeper into what this much-vaunted “bridge technology” really means – in a region that owed its survival to brown coal for more than a century and that has now become its victim. What’s more important: one’s home or work?
In addition to the question of what this does to people who are trying to live some kind of normal life in the middle of a long, gruelling conflict, Benedix pays more attention than in his first film to the political level, the level of arguments. He pulls off the feat of giving both sides – miners and protesters – space without giving up his author’s position. While there is a (far from stupid) counter-argument for every argument, while referendums and constitutional challenges fail and new protests are organised (by both sides), a village shop opens in Kerkwitz – apparently against all reason – and a child is born. And the men raise the maypole. But they are fewer now.
Grit Lemke