June 4th 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon, the peace treaty between the Allies of World War I and the Kingdom of Hungary. The treaty decided the new order of Central and Eastern Europe by reinforcing and putting into law the secessions from the Kingdom of Hungary that had already taken place.
How is it possible that an event that took place one hundred years ago can have such far-reaching consequences and still be politically relevant today?
The film will give answers to these questions.
Everyone knows pop artist Keith Haring’s colorful, striking symbols, icons and simple stickmen figures. His distinctive graphics appear all over the world, on t-shirts, watches, posters, prints on paper bags, buttons and countless other items.
Though seemingly overused, the mass distribution of his motives are actually exactly what Haring intended. He wanted to make art for everyone. That was his primary goal. Everyone should be able to partake. Even those who have never been to a museum or a gallery. The artist and activist was inspired by street art and pop art. Keith Haring’s graphics appear to be happy and innocent at first glance, but often contain serious messages. The film will trace his life and his legacy.
The Great Northern Expedition
Almost 300 years ago, at the beginning of the 18th century, European scientists, commissioned by the newly founded Petersburg Academy of Sciences, started on a long and adventurous journey into the Russian Far East – Siberia, a large, unknown, cold land full of secrets. The results of this Great Northern Expedition continue to be of great importance today. The result will be a two part documentary series.
Love between heaven and hell
Ever since couples have existed, so have affairs. The mixture of erotic adventure and moral misconduct has always attracted plenty of public attention. However, the practice, perception and judgment of affairs have changed greatly during the last 15 years, which has gone largely unnoticed.
The entertaining and informative film will get to the bottom of these contradictory forces that entangle us in fiery, complicated and painful affairs in an age of heightened self-realization. It will show how couples can cope with and master the ensuing chaos.
a two part series
The Twenties were the women’s decade. For the first time in history, women across the board stepped out of the shadows of men. They confidently demanded their right to societal participation.
The metropolis became the stage for new femininity. Artists of all genres celebrated their newly won freedom in its theaters, nightclubs, ateliers and film studios and became role models for millions of women.
Two films will shine a light on the life of women and artists in the hotspots of this “first feminist revolution”: New York, Paris, Berlin and Moscow.
The economically prosperous New York, the new global center of fashion, music and entertainment; Paris, the place of eternal desire and the wildly beating, cultural heart of the old world; Berlin, the new European party metropolis, ecstatically celebrating its newly attained freedom and finally Moscow, the center of the communist movement, a city faltering between euphoria and apathy, a large and highly dangerous test laboratory for the most daring social and artistic experiments.
Eastern European caregivers
Nursing crisis in Germany – the numbers say it all.
Of the approximately 17.7 million over 65 year olds in Germany, 2.12 million are currently cared for at home and about 868500 are being cared for in nursing homes. This number is only set to rise in the near future. Germany is in urgent need of caregivers.
The situation would be even more dramatic, if most of the elderly weren’t taken care of at home, either by relatives together with outpatient nursing services, or around the clock by 24-hour service staff. These caregivers mostly come from abroad, predominantly from Eastern Europe.
This 37 Grad episode will focus on the people who leave their home countries in order to work in geriatric care in Germany.
Power reflected through portrait paintings
For centuries, white artists have predominantly painted powerful white people. Michelle and Barack Obama set a new precedent, when they commissioned two African-American painters to paint their official presidential portraits. Using this break with tradition as a starting point, the film shows the diverse aspects of the international debate surrounding the representation of marginalized groups in art. It does so by looking at paintings by predominantly African-American artists, who are increasingly claiming their place in art history with their outstanding works of art.
Towards the end of the 18th century, a new cross-genre cultural movement is starting to gain influence in Europe. The Romantic Era has begun. For the first time in art history societal developments are met with skepticism by a large number of artists, poets and musicians. The industrial revolution has changed everyday life dramatically on the European continent. Social structures erode as faith and family bonds lose their cohesion. Individuals who until then were sheltered within society are increasingly becoming directionless and rootless. The parallels to the here and now are obvious. While it was the steam engine that changed the realities of people radically two centuries ago, it is the digital revolution today. With this topical background the film reminds us of the multi-facetted and, until today, fascinating art of the Romantic Era. It describes it as a European phenomenon and portrays its artistic and ideological spectrum at the hands of different painters such as Delacroix, Wenezianow and Caspar David Friedrich.
The Story of Bautzen Prison
To the dismay of its inhabitants, the city of Bautzen is still associated with its two former prisons, Bautzen I and Bautzen II. At the time, however, only very few people were aware of what was happening behind the prison walls. The dramatic events in and around Bautzen prison, 30 years ago, during the year of German reunification (1989/90), are reason and cause to remember its eventful history.
Maxim is 11 years old and lives in Russia. Like many other young boys and girls at his age, he is a passionate skateboarder. He spends every free minute with his skateboard because he has a plan: When he’s grown up he wants to take part in the Paralympic Games.
When Maxim was two years old he lost both his legs in a fire. His mother gave him up for adoption. The entire country learned about Maxim’s fate. Reports about him were all over Russian media. Finally a Russian/American couple from St. Petersburg came forward and wanted to adopt Maxim. And so Maxim got a new family and learned to laugh again.
A documentary series
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO world heritage convention, the documentary series will link the past to the present and examine how the spirit of individual sites can remain vivid, valuable and inspiring for future generations. The series focuses on four important European cultural heritage sites: Arles, Aachen cathedral, St. Petersburg and the Amalfi coast. It will explain why each site has been put under the special protection of the international community, what it means for these world heritage sites, how sustainable they are and what they have to offer to future generations. The agreement, which was ratified by 193 nations, on November 16th 1972, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. The agreement produced a list of monuments to be declared “world heritage sites”. These have been protected by the member states since 1975. The idea of a world cultural heritage belonging to all of humanity was revolutionary.
The Gorals are an almost forgotten pastoral tribe that has maintained its traditions like no other ethnic group in Europe. They are admired for their culture, their close affinity to nature, their craftsmanship and for being down-to-earth; but by no means do they want to become a living and breathing open-air museum.
The ancient civilization of Mesquito
What secrets are hidden in the jungles of Honduras? Archeologists want to prove the existence of an ancient civilization over 1000 years old. The lost city is located in an area where only very few people are living today. Starting from their base camp in the east of the country, a German-Swiss expedition led by the German Archeological Institute, the university of Zurich and the museum Rietberg (Zurich) will explore uncharted territory with the help of modern technology. They will turn the area upside down scientifically in order to reveal its archeological secrets. They already know that they will be entering an area that was densely populated in the past.
Learning and playing in the Yurt
Kyrgyzstan is a country in the mountainous part of Central Asia. It is half the size of Germany and is sparsely populated. Almost half of the Kyrgyz population lives a simple life and only 20% of the country is suitable for agriculture. That is why many nomads and their animals move up to the meadows of the high plains at over 3500 meters altitude during the summer months – of course together with their kids – and for a few years now, there are special kindergartens and schools in the Yurts of the elevated plains of Kyrgyzstan.
Most senior citizens do not think about where they want to spend the last years of their lives ahead of time. They prefer to live at home as long as possible. But unfortunately this wishful thinking is often met with a different reality.
The film accompanies people who are self-determinedly and actively searching for a new home for the last years of their lives. We follow them and their families looking for a suitable residential facility. They share their thoughts, expectations, desires and hopes with us.
Nobody really knows the exact details of Special Action 1005 until today. How many people were killed? It was at least tens of thousands, murdered right at the beginning of the Nazi Regime, killed and buried carelessly. The people living around the burial sites are still tormented by their existence to this day. Until today many of the anonymous mass graves remain undiscovered, but over 70 years after the end of the war activists in France and Germany are once again investigating the crimes committed under the name of “Special Action 1005”.
The Nazi-Regime did not only meticulously plan and execute mass murder, they were just as thorough when it came to destroying any evidence of their crimes. While they simply put bodies in mass graves in the early days of the war, they became increasingly fearful that their horrific crimes would be discovered, when the tide was turning against them and the red army was approaching. The systematic precision the bureaucrats of mass murder applied in erasing all traces of their crimes and the cruelty in which they did it, remains to be a mostly unknown chapter of the war. Many next of kin of the murdered Jews, Sinti, Roma, partisans or simply civilians, are still waiting to find out where their relatives were buried. And they still hope to one day have at least a dignified memorial site.
The big misunderstanding?
In times of digitalization, multitasking is not only considered to be a great challenge but also appears to be unavoidable for many. The film puts the myth of effective multitasking to the test and exposes it as a huge misunderstanding.
Multitasking is both a challenge and a myth. The ever-increasing workload in complex working environments and the constant real time communication with the help of modern media clashes with the human brain and its limited attention span. What has scientific research discovered about multitasking and how can we create a work/live environment better suited to our brains?
Scientists of various disciplines have come to almost the same result: Multitasking only works to a certain degree for humans. The attempt to meet multitasking expectations damages our brain, our performance and our health; apparently also long-term. Different studies in various business sectors show that multitasking even has a negative effect on productivity, causing up to one quarter in lost revenue.
Hope for Albania
Just as 26-year-old Bruno Papaj is setting up his own company in his home country, Albania, the Corona crisis and the resulting economic downturn hit the country. This story is representative for many young entrepreneurs working under difficult conditions in Eastern Europe. Despite a successful transfer of education and know-how into the country, up until now, young Albanians do not have a lot of hope for the future. But there is renewed hope for Albania.
Bruno Papaj was 19, when he came to Bonn. He learned German and studied electrical engineering in Aachen, together with Phillip Koronowski from Düsseldorf. The young men bonded over their love of football, their interest in photovoltaics and their drive to become entrepreneurs. Soon they decided to start a business together. But where should they do it? Germany seemed too competitive for the young duo, so why not Albania? The country enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, but that alone does not guarantee success. Unlike Bruno, many young Albanians leave their country and want to start a life in Germany or other EU countries. This is also true for some of Bruno’s friends, who want to make their way abroad, despite Corona.
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