Making Off (Germania Dreamland)

Filmmaker is present





Istvan Gyöngyösi
AT/DE 2017 | OmeU | 23′

The Templehof field in Berlin can be seen as a site where a civil society prevailed against commercial and military interests to establish a free space. What was once an airport is now a location for multifaceted projects such as urban gardening. During the refugee crisis of 2015 Tempelhof was the largest emergency camp in Berlin. In his film Making Off (Germania Dreamland)Istvan Gyöngyösi plays on the historical semantics surrounding Tempelhof: While the Nazis hoped to extensively expand the airport, the place is equally associated with the Berlin Airlift. Commencing with the arrival hall of the long defunct airport, a loose constellation of fictional stories unfolds, only partially “filmed” — instead, characters such as Katja or Ilyas are brought to life by the voice of the filmmaker reading the screenplay out loud. These characters become automatically associated with the documentary images seen onscreen, especially the International Aerospace Exhibition ILA (called a weapons trade fair). Germany is seen as a society that can afford to celebrate its leisure time virtually astounded by aircraft technology. Gyöngyösi makes a clear analogy between the demonstration of power discernible in this spectacle of technology and Nazi efforts to turn Berlin into Germania, the name planned for the world capital of its future empire. Making Off (Germania Dreamland) is a complex observation of history as constituted by an argument that remains purposely fragmentary: Three young men with migrant backgrounds fly around to the music of George Bizet´s opera The Pearl Fishers having a blast in the air at an amusement park. At this juncture the centrifugal forces become most apparent that no “dreamland” can long withstand. (Bert Rebhandl, translation: Eve Heller)

Frederik Lang, DOK Leipzig:
Berlin-Tempelhof airport: built by the Nazis, defended as a free space against commercial interests after it was shut down, turned into one of the biggest emergency shelters in Berlin during the refugee crisis. It’s the starting point of a few loosely connected stories, narrated from off-screen by the director as a script-reading that automatically pushes its way into the images in the viewer’s head. An associative contemplation of the history of present-day Germany.

Istvan Gyöngyösi
Born in Vienna, lives in Berlin and Vienna. Curator for Film, Media Art and Music (Zeitfluss-Festival Salzburg, Sommerszene Salzburg, Diagonale Graz, Donaufestival Krems et al.). Contributing Editor of the German Film Magazine Revolver.