Detlef Gumm and Hans-Georg Ullrich began working on their long-term observational documentary BERLIN – ECKE BUNDESPLATZ twenty-four years ago. Their plan was to make a series of short and longer films documenting the fortunes of several inhabitants of an ordinary Berlin neighbourhood as they moved towards the year 2000. The protagonists were a typical cross-section of people living an old quarter of West-Berlin, and so, in their film, widows, a high-flying lawyer, drop-outs, owners of small businesses and a single mother became chroniclers of their Wilmersdorf world. The filmmakers paid another visit to their protagonists for five new episodes of their opus. In MÜTTER UND TÖCHTER we meet a woman who brought up her daughter on her own and became dependant on social welfare as a result; this episode compares their lives, then and now. DIE AUSSTEIGER relates what has happened to the dreams and plans of a gay couple. At the centre of SCHÖN IST DIE JUGEND … are an 89-year-old woman and the man who later became her carer and set up his own business. DIE KÖPKE-BANDE is about a family whose members almost all have artistic jobs, while DER YILMAZ-CLAN tells the story of an upwardly mobile family of immigrants. Everyday stories and contemporary history merge on Berlin’s Bundesplatz to provide an authentic picture of Germany.
by Hans-Georg Ullrich, Detlef Gumm