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Documentary Film
Switzerland
2012
5 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Edith Flückiger
Muriel Kunz
Muriel Kunz
Muriel Kunz
Muriel Kunz
Muriel Kunz
Muriel Kunz
If my trusted therapist assures me that there are no conclusive symptoms of madness, I’m cautiously happy. But what about that other, inconclusive part? Because words still keep rushing at me from there, followed by images and then sounds, until at last everything in my head piles up in a buzzing nervous jam. Muriel Kunz pits herself with masterful ingeniousness against this nasty trouble: like sending a message in a bottle through a high voltage power line, she talks at breakneck speed about the ordinary madness of everyday life and a young woman’s more or less helpless attempts to cope. The film’s visual style keeps shifting between staccato-like interior monologues and short impressionistic breathers in which the images come to the fore again, though only to allow the stream of consciousness to rush off in a different direction at the next instance.

Ralph Eue
International Programme 2017
Köhlernächte Robert Müller

With a mimetic interest in the temporalities of the traditional craft of the Entlebucher charcoal burners, Robert Müller shows us how charcoal is made. A work of archaic beauty.

Köhlernächte

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2017
92 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Carola Kutzner
Robert Müller
Fritz Hauser
Pio Corradi, Luzius Wespe, Robert Müller
Kathrin Plüss, Mirella Nüesch
Robert Müller
Guido Keller, Thomas Gassmann, Simon Graf, Salome Wüllner
Fränz Röösli keeps cursing out loud. The fire has eaten a hole in his charcoal kiln, it’s the middle of the night and he is trying to contain the damage, making the embers, smoke and fire glow, smoke and burn as they should with a few stabs of his stick. Fränz Röösli is a master of fire, a vanquisher of fire – almost the only expressions that will do justice to the archaic beauty of his trade. The only commercially operated charcoal kilns in Western Europe today are found in Entlebuch in the canton of Lucerne. It takes about five weeks until a kiln is stacked and burnt and the charcoal is shovelled into bags and loaded on trucks to be sold.

With a mimetic interest in the temporalities and rhythms, the cyclical work processes and eternally repeated movements of the charcoal burning trade, Swiss director Robert Müller shows us how wood is transformed into charcoal – step by step, layer by layer, shovelful by shovelful, curse by curse. Having watched this film it’s easy to understand why this remote craft has no recruitment problems.

Lukas Stern


Nominated for Healthy Workplaces Film Award