Between Tradition and new beginnings in the 21st Century
Modern Moscow is very different compared to its old reputation. Between past and future, tradition and modernity, a city with many different faces unfolds. Many things have changed in the last two to three years – the art scene in Moscow is booming. The metropolis is changing at breathtaking speed. Many artists are returning home from abroad and new, young artists are finding unexpected platforms for their creativity. They are shaping the Russian capital architecturally, artistically and thereby also the city and its culture. The film shows a surprising image of a lively city in the 21st century shaped by art, while also reflecting on Moscow’s rich cultural heritage.
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.
Dancing on fire
Every year on the 21st of May, the day of St. Constantine and St. Helen, the inhabitants of two remote mountain villages in the picturesque Strandzha Mountains gather at sunset to dance on hot coals while screaming ecstatically. Dancing on fire is supposed to bring good health and fertility. The ritual is part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The documentary film accompanies two women, the oldest Nestinari of the village, her every day life and her preparations for the dance and a young woman, who hasn’t been living in the village for a long time and now lives in a modern town. She will return to the village to dance through the fire for the very first time.
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.
From East to West – on Nepal’s highways
A two-part documentary series
Nepal: one of the poorest countries on earth and yet a fairytale-like, mystical kingdom of gods and a spiritual paradise.
A country between rain forests and mountain deserts, tropical hot regions and icy cold mountains. A country of ancient cultures and a turbulent history, a religious country between tradition and modernity, a country which is inhabited by almost 100 tribes and ethnic groups who speak just as many languages. While the South is mostly inhabited by Indo-Aryan tribes, the North is predominantly populated by Mongolian tribes from Central and East Asia. Among them innumerous mountain tribes and Tibetan Sherpas.
Both films explore interesting and impressive locations in this unique country along the Mahendra Highway, the only continuous road leading from East to West, the main artery of the country.
A cruise to the North
A two-part documentary series
We are on a cruise ship on the Baltic Sea – in the footsteps of the Hanseatic League and the Tsars in the North of Europe. The journey combines unique nature with historical highlights and is very popular with German tourists. During the trip, the passengers experience the vast Polish coastlines on the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Spit and wildly romantic skerry landscapes in Finland and Sweden. The „MS Ocean Majesty“ docks in the old ports of Tallinn, Riga and Gdansk but also in the famous metropolises St. Petersburg and Stockholm, places rich in centuries-old history.
We experience the cruise on the Baltic Sea together with the passengers during the „White nights“. This is particularly appealing but also exhausting for both the travellers and the crew. When night becomes day there is always something to see. No matter whether on the high seas, in the ports or during an evening stroll in one of these fascinating cities.
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.
When walking through the cities of Transylvania one meets strangely clad creatures. The men wear a black suit, a large black brimmed hat and an impressive moustache. The older men have side-whiskers. The women wear colorful long pleated skirts and headscarves with flower patterns. They call themselves “silk gypsies”. They are very proud people and many of them are quite well off. Their lives are regulated by strict rules. They are endogamous, meaning they exclusively marry within the group. The Gábor live very isolated lives and don’t allow outsiders inside their community. For the first time, the film provides an insight into their world.
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.
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 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.
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