Genre: Drama
               Journalist, medicines, doctor, Iraq, Baghdad

between the front

  In a globalized world dominated by media and we can not escape the war – regardless of whether a nation like Germany is now involved, as in the case of Afghanistan (even if you shrink from taking the word “war” at all in the mouth) or does not like the Iraq war. Because the media coverage has long been an important part of warfare and neutrality, and the view of the (civilian) victims of war in the context of “embedded journalism fall” difficult. From this war of images and information, and the consequences of hunting for most impressive news tells Lancelot von Naso’s award-winning debut feature film ceasefire, which is located in Iraq in 2004. Although the film was shot on a tight budget in Morocco, it is possible cease-fire to draw an authentic-looking and very exciting picture of life in the chaos of the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

In Iraq, although the war formally on 1 May 2003 came to an end, but take the fighting between the insurgents and the allied forces under U.S. leadership and a year later still, the situation is like the proverbial powder keg. In this tense situation, the young German TV reporter Oliver (Max von Pufendorf) from a military learns that in the embattled city of Fallujah, a 24-hour cease-fire was negotiated. Oliver suspects it the chance to get together with his cameraman, Ralf (Hannes Jaennicke) as the first and only team of reporters, a report on the situation in Falluja. But the experienced and thoughtful Ralf initially hesitant, and may not engage in the adventure, he finally agrees to it and yet remain full of doubt. Together with a local driver (Husam Chadat), the disillusioned French doctor Alain (Matthias Habich) and Kim (Thekla Reuten), the head of a charity who want to bring urgently needed relief supplies to Falludsacha to make the two reporters in the embattled city . It is a journey into the unknown, when nothing goes as planned …

A 24-hour truce in a war that really is long over, but fighting in the “liberated” are still against the “liberators” and nobody really knows who is actually standing on what side – this is the starting point of this absurd plenty of very dense and intense film that in its basic constellation points have almost like a modern version of John Ford’s Western Stagecoach / Ringo from 1939. Here, as there are four people traveling in a confined space through an area full of danger, the enemy is lurking around every corner, the passengers who are actually pursuing the same goal, to counterparties with different views, which bring each other in mortal danger.

Unlike in Kathryn Bigelow’s recent award-winning film The Hurt Locker is not about the soldiers (they appear here to contribute only marginally, and not exactly pleasant or reassuringly), but all the other people who are the most diverse motives in Iraq: Some like Alain and Kim want to help at any cost – and go at the same time strangely careless with their own lives. The others such as Oliver and Ralf are on the hunt for spectacular images and stories as possible and lose the real suffering of the Iraqis out of sight – until they got caught in the crossfire of warring parties.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the mistake that undermines not only the two reporters, but also a bit of the thoroughly gripping and compelling staged film – which, incidentally, he is like many war films of recent years: In the limit of vision on the occupants of the bus gets the daily suffering of the civilian population of secondary importance. Perhaps this narrowing of vision on the Binnenkonstellation the Businsassen is indeed due to a tighter budget framework, which was also further strained by a veritable flood of disasters during shooting. The higher estimate is the enormous density of the drama that has fallen in spite of various limitations and obstacles very close and exciting.

And then Lancelot von Naso’s film, despite many weaknesses in the figure drawing an absolute exception in the monotony of German debut productions: instead of the usual coming-of-age nonsense, he takes a look at the here and now, and sketched this one constellation, which is certainly seen as a metaphor for the German foreign policy in the crisis areas of the world: In war, it makes clear cease-fire, there are no more outsiders – the ubiquity of violence, all victims and perpetrators at the same time, the war in the territory a exercise function – whether as a soldier, as a doctor or member of a charity or as a reporter, as a war correspondent. Admittedly, this knowledge is almost a truism. But it also marks a beginning in dealing with the complexities of Germany into a conflict in which it participates at all. At least not officially. One can only hope that this first step will be followed by still more tentative reclamation.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: Ceasefire Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2009 of material: 3L Film Distribution

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