Werkleitz Festival

31.5.–9.6. 2024


Florian Wüst

Combines harvest wheat as far as the eye can see. This once proud image of industrialized agriculture, which secures the world's food supply, has a different, or at least more ambivalent, reading today. Cleared landscapes stand for the decline in biodiversity, soil erosion and water shortages. The conflict between economy and ecology has been part of the cultivation of the earth since its intensification in the 20th century, which includes machinery as well as seeds and agrochemicals. Does the digital future of agriculture hold the solution we long for? Can sustainable concepts that work regionally also be implemented on a large scale? Another complicating factor is that land is a limited resource and therefore attractive as a capital investment and object of speculation. While land is becoming increasingly unaffordable, farmers are left with the market price of their produce and not the value of their labor. Would they rather collect solar energy fully automatically? In German supermarkets, meanwhile, the standardized cheap vegetables from the plastic sea of Almería are tempting.
The profound changes in farming culture are captured in the Tank oder Teller film program with a selection of artistic and documentary films and television features.
The videos presented in the festival exhibition, as well as the three-part international film series at ZAZIE, cover almost 100 years of agricultural and social development.
With films and videos by Yves Allégret, Manfred Baier, Siegfried Bergmann, Gautam Bora, Arne Hector & Minze Tummescheit, Aline Juárez, Volker Koepp, Henrike Meyer, Barbara Musil, Peter Nestler & Kurt Ulrich, Sandra Schäfer, Eduard Schreiber, Carla Simón and Sónia Vaz Borges & Filipa César et al.

Fr. 31.5. – Fr. 14.6.

Werkleitz Festival 2024 Tank oder Teller

Films in the exhibition



A village changes its face: In Ödenwaldstetten, Peter Nestler and Kurt Ulrich document the social and economic transformation of the community of the same name in the Swabian Alb in the 1960s. The film, commissioned by Südwestfunk, allows different voices to have their say in an unpolished way. Farmers talk about the structural change in agriculture with the need for mechanization and factory farming. The first guest workers come to work in the village. The school system is changing, although it is still characterized by seasonal child labor during harvest time. The Second World War and the expulsion of the Jewish population are also addressed. However, the new favors forgetting: "What lies behind you is mowed," is said at one point in the film.

Peter Nestler, Kurt Ulrich
West Germany 1964, 36 min
German original version

Um Jahrmillionen voraus

Produced by the Gesellschaft für bildende Filme (GBF), the BASF film Um Jahrmillionen voraus (Millions of Years Ahead) received numerous awards for its impressive images of insect biology, was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short Film category in 1976 and was used in school lessons for decades. "In South America, the leaf-cutting ant is a feared pest that defoliates trees, cuts fruit and leaves into pieces and then carries them into underground burrows to cultivate a fungus. Today, research is concentrating on mushroom gardens. Millions of years ago, nature had already taken a path that our modern agriculture is now also forced to follow, the path to monoculture." (from a fact sheet on Um Jahrmillionen voraus)

Manfred Baier
West Germany 1975, 26 min
German original version

Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde

About 20 kilometers south-east of Jüterbog lies the hamlet of Bärwalde. This is where Gautam Bora, an international student at the Babelsberg Film and Television Academy (HFF) in the early 1980s, shot his film about the three generations of the Balke farming family. The family members reflect on their work in the LPG and the unequal gender relations in everyday village life. The attention that Bora and his cameraman Marwan Salamah pay to inconspicuous details lends Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde (An autumn in the Bärwalde countryside) a subtle poetic quality. Hands, tools and crops can be seen again and again - images that tell of life in Bärwalde just as impressively as the interviews that accompany them and which Bora comments on by making comparisons with his home country of India.

Ein Herbst im Ländchen Bärwalde: Diploma film / Director: Gautam Bora. - Potsdam: Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen der DDR, 1983.
Digitization and restoration by the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, supported by the Förderprogramm Filmerbe, financed by BKM, Länder and FFA.
2023 / 2024 digitized and restored in 4K resolution at PHAROS - The Post Group on behalf of the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF.
The project was made possible by the Förderprogramm Filmerbe, financed by the Beauftragte für Kultur und Medien der Bundesregierung, the federal states and the Filmförderungsanstalt.

Gautam Bora
GDR 1983, 29 min
German original version with English subtitles

Tiere des Bodens

“The better the life of the soil, the more productive it is.” How bacteria, nematodes, and fungus work together to form humus, is rendered visible in Tiere des Bodens (Animals of the Soil), through the use of microscopic images and experimental scenarios. In addition, the film, made for GDR television, gives practical advice on the care of well aerated soil, and thus the maintenance of fertility. In 1959, Siegfried Bergmann began his thirty-year long career in the biology-film division of DEFA. He worked closely together with his wife Christine, who took over the dramaturgy for many of the films. The Bergmanns were permanent employees of DEFA, but were frequently contracted by television. This may perhaps be the reason why films could be made that were comparatively critical of the long suppressed themes of ecology and environment in the GDR.

Siegfried Bergmann
GDR 1987, 24 min
German original version

Fictions and Futures #1

"Futures" are contracts traded on the commodity futures exchange that specify the future purchase or sale of tangible goods, such as precious metals or agricultural products, at a price agreed today. In theory, Futures serve as a hedge against fluctuating commodity prices. In practice, however, they are bets on the future. With the deregulation of the financial markets and the introduction of electronic trading, hedging has become a mass product. As if by an invisible hand, Futures determine the prices of basic foodstuffs and reinforce the industrial standardization of agriculture worldwide. Fictions and Futures #1 sheds light on the complex and problematic relationship between stock market speculation, food production and bioengineering.

Arne Hector, Minze Tummescheit
DE/NO 2013, 30 min
English original version with German subtitles

Frutos de Resistencia

The Andalusian province of Almería is home to the world's largest concentration of greenhouses. Tens of thousands of migrant workers, many of them from North Africa and Eastern Europe, ensure that the fresh produce shelves are full, especially in Germany: Germany imports a third of its produce from Almería. Officially, the workers receive the statutory minimum wage for 40 hours of work per week. But the reality is different. Frutos de Resistencia describes the everyday experience of exclusion and exploitation as well as the solidarity-based struggle for basic rights in industrial agriculture. The film, produced by the Interbrigadas, was made against the backdrop of many years of cooperation with the trade unions Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) and Sindicato de Obreros del Campo (SOC).

Aline Juárez
DE/ES 2023, 25 min
Spanish original version with German subtitles

Into the Magnetic Fields

What waves and signals run through the hybrid landscapes between agricultural use and fallow land? Who passes through the atmosphere—all the way up to outer space? We see remote-controlled machines working the countryside, migratory birds flying over fields, robots imitating human movements. What will the relationship between nature and culture look like in the future? Sandra Schäfer’s most recent film Into the Magnetic Fields questions post-human modes of production. The soundtrack is formed by generated voices that quote feminist science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin, theorist Mark Fisher, artist Lygia Clark, and interviews with foresters and bird researchers, combined with music by Dominik Eulberg, Manuela Schininà, Maya Shenfeld, and Tim Tetzner.

Sandra Schäfer
DE 2024, 14 min
English original version with German subtitles

Sa. 1.6. – Sa. 8.6.

Film program at Zazie Kino

Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)
Sa. 1.6.

Short film program

Wert der Arbeit, Lohn der Bildung

01.06.2024 20:00
Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)

At the end of Yves Allégret's educational film Prix et profits (la pomme de terre) from 1931, a farmer and a worker meet at the outskirts of Paris and shake hands in a close-up lasting several seconds. The image stands for the demand for solidarity between the exploited classes against the capitalist market and pricing system, which creates unequal conditions. The conversion to a sustainable economy cannot avoid the social question. This concerns fair producer prices as well as the question of the affordability of healthy food. Against this backdrop, the short film program Wert der Arbeit, Lohn der Bildung (Value of Work, Wages of Education) takes us on a journey through time from the left-wing progressive reform efforts in France in the 1930s to the global financial industry's current grip on undeveloped land. Barbara Musil visualizes this seemingly invisible and abstract process in market sentiments (2007) using the example of the Estonian land market.
In Ein Bauer und seine Frau, Eduard Schreiber documents the reality of farm work, which the younger generation in the GDR of the early 1980s preferred to life in the city. The couple hopes that their grandchildren will help them keep their farm. Sónia Vaz Borges and Filipa César recall the revolutionary practice of an education that combines physical and intellectual knowledge in Mangrove School, an essay film about the nomadic schools during the war of independence in Guinea-Bissau in the 1960s/70s.

Prix et profits (la pomme de terre)

01.06.2024 20:00
Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)

Prix et profits (la pomme de terre) describes the path of the potato from the peasant producer to the urban working class consumer. Every level of the capitalist market system is revealed: The principle of price inflation causes exploitation at both ends of the food supply chain, while the middlemen in the Parisian wholesale market district of Les Halles earn big. The silent film is the joint work of filmmaker Yves Allégret, poet Jacques Prévert, who co-wrote the screenplay with Michel Collinet, and cinematographer Eli Lotar. Prix et profits (la pomme de terre) was produced by the Coopérative de l'enseignement laïque, a group associated with the Freinet educational reform movement, which distributed films in 9.5 mm format to rural schools.

Yves Allégret
FR 1931, 18 min
French original version with German subtitles

Ein Bauer und seine Frau

01.06.2024 20:00
Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)

The DEFA documentary Ein Bauer und seine Frau (A peasant and his wife) focuses on an elderly couple in a village in the Harz Mountains. Before collectivization, they were individual farmers. Today the wife works as a brigadier in the LPG pigsty, the husband, once chairman of the LPG, stays at home, his health no longer playing ball. The grandchildren from the city come to visit at the weekend. The grandparents hope that they will take an interest in their farm and the home they are so attached to. "Eduard Schreiber, who sees the documentary as a seismograph of reality, combines documentary images and words with lyrical, metaphorical shots. The camera lingers on annual rings of cut wood. Sometimes everyday occurrences take on a symbolic character of their own accord." (Elke Schieber)

Eduard Schreiber
GDR 1982, 21 min
German original version

Mangrove School

01.06.2024 20:00
Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)

During Guinea-Bissau’s struggle for independence between 1963 and 1974, led by the agricultural engineer, political organizer, and poet Amílcar Cabral, an ambitious education programme was launched to fight Portuguese colonial power. The revolutionaries built more than 150 schools in the liberated zones, at least one of them was hidden in the tidal mangrove forest, made from natural materials at hand. Inspired by this history, Mangrove School is a collective fabulation developed by Sónia Vaz Borges and Filipa César together with the Malafo community in the Guinean region of Oio. The tabulated scenes and off voices are based on lived experiences as well as a three-week workshop. The film discusses an anticolonial pedagogy that is materially and philosophically informed by the ecological environment.

Sónia Vaz Borges, Filipa César
PT/FR/ES/GW/DE 2022, 35 min
Portuguese original version with English subtitles

market sentiments

01.06.2024 20:00
Kino Zazie
Kleine Ulrichstraße 22
06108 Halle (Saale)