Filmstill Showhouse


Anna Lauenstein, Max Hilsamer
German Competition Documentary Film 2023
Documentary Film
30 minutes

From a distance, the glass greenhouse looks like a spaceship which could have landed decades or only minutes ago. In any case, the Botanical Garden in Berlin seems to belong to another era. A group of young people are exploring, feeling plants, trees, and the building according to their very own criteria. Are they aliens? Are they imitating the expeditions of German explorers from the colonial period?

The commentary muses on the history of the place: at the end of the 19th century, work began on the construction of the new greenhouses of the Botanical Garden in Dahlem to bring the world to one garden. This idea formulated a claim of omnipotence, too. In the rambling park, the camera comes across the naturalistic statue of a semi-nude man sowing seeds. It was created by the sculptor Hermann Joachim Pagels, who was very successful under the Nazis. The deeper the film penetrates the thickets of this garden, the more traces of imperial and colonialist thinking come to light. But the Botanical Garden is also a utopian place. What if this greenhouse-spaceship were to take off to distant spheres again? Could the plants guarantee the survival of our species on other planets? But perhaps they have a different plan, a life of their own?

Anke Leweke

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anna Lauenstein, Max Hilsamer
Max Hilsamer
Max Hilsamer, Anna Lauenstein
Adrian Gutzelnig
Sebastian Eppner
Martina Weber
Nominated for: Gedanken Aufschluss Prize