The rivers used to run the way they run today. Sure, they carried other water. But isn’t water always water? We see water in almost every take of this cinematic ramble through Brandenburg’s Spree areas – moving, stagnant, clear, murky, overflowing, dammed up, liquid, frozen – in static takes, audiovisual crystallizations of the ontological modes of water, always both historic tableau and view of the present day: the rivers that flow or stand still the way they always used to flow or stand still and the highways beyond their banks, the smoking chimneys of power plants in the background, the motor boats, the jetties, the bridges, the shipping facilities.
After “Oderland. Fontane” and “Rhinland. Fontane”, Bernhard Sallmann is now presenting “Spreeland Fontane”, his third film essay adaptation of the five-volume travelogue “Ramblings through Brandenburg”. Offscreen, Judica Albrecht’s crystal clear, almost black and white voice recites passages from the impressions the famous German writer Theodor Fontane turned into prose, while onscreen the places of influx where history and the present age flow together are revealed.
Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize