The Day of the sparrow

The Day of the sparrow

The date of sparrows

               Genre: Documentary
               War birds, Berlinale 2010, Ornithology

As the sparrows from the roofs do not whistle

  What does the death of a sparrow in the Netherlands with the death of German soldiers in Afghanistan to do? The question is the starting point for a documentary, tries to go new ways: in the language of film, the relationship between image and sound and in relationship to the audience. Because of the film and share a cognitive process that does not want to pretend, however, is the question of the relationship between sparrows and war ultimately only a catalyst in a meditative, sometimes provocative experiment that will certainly lead to shared responses.
(# ) The starting point for the film were two newspaper reports of November 2005. One told of a sparrow, who was killed in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. The bird had flown into a hall, where the RTL TV-Show
Domino Day more than four million domino stones were built up. With a single touch, he had brought 23,000 pieces for tilting. Because they had tried in vain to catch the sparrow, we shot him with a rifle. In another newspaper article was about a bomb attack in which an army soldier was fatally injured. He was then the 18th German soldier who had been killed in the Afghanistan mission.
For Philip Scheffner personally have to do sparrows and the war very well together. Ever since he was eight years old, he watched birds. The first experience was made during a family holiday on the Baltic Sea. Have formed a landscape in which nature reserve and a very special memory of Army training: an amalgam of ocean waves, birds chirping and the explosions of anti-aircraft missiles.

This experience can participate in the film the audience. In long shots, he shows the nature and the presence of the military in it. In long shots, we see sparrows, as they bathe in a bucket, how fast they beat their wings. But we also see how they sit on fences, on poles, in a gun barrel. At times the film seems like a quiet, contemplative nature documentary, with well-chosen, aesthetically attractive settings. But either there will come if you have looked long enough and every detail envisaged a foreign object into the picture, something that belongs not to nature but to the military. Or is it then cuts to the buildings, machinery or fences that seem to eke out their existence as peaceful and serene in a meditative breathing animal and plant life.

Philip Scheffner and his co-writer Merle Kröger confident that This experimental arrangement is flowing currents of thought, especially when superimposed on the soundtrack experience of a soldier or written statements on the image plane of the Bundeswehr. They revolve with their experimental approach to the question of how something can be visible, which is initially invisible. Anyone who wants to learn something about sparrows, can walk out the door. But who wants to know here in Germany if that country is now in war or peace, is to find them slightly, suggesting a war as long as he does not turn on the TV.

And this is obviously an important political issue that Scheffner and Kroger appeal because we act as if Germany would not wage a war – especially at that time in 2005, now may be the rising number of deaths and the increasingly difficult situation not displace so well. And if we were to look carefully, we could see traces of the war, of course, also with us: buildings in which people work, which the whole plan and be responsible, barracks, where soldiers are trained to use, and so on.

, but most people do not want to look so well – and certainly not to be bothered with the question of how long they still want to close our eyes. Philip Scheffner wants to lead them into an aesthetic experience, then, to do that too. Whether he succeeds is another question. Some will be able to enjoy the freedom of meditation and Schweifenlassen of thought. Others will find the whole thing a bit top-heavy.

(Peter Gutting)

Title: The date of sparrows Country of production: Germany Year of production: 2010 Length: 100 (Min) Distribution : arsenal distribution

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