Hand luggage is stuffed into a bag; one last cigarette before the guard knocks on the door. A prisoner is about to go on a journey. René is to be transported in a prison bus to another town for a court hearing. Raumfahrer describes the curious procedure of the transfer of a prisoner – or ‘Verschubung’ as it is known in German – from the point of view of the prisoner. It’s a case of constant stop and start in front of closed doors and gates, as well as endless periods of waiting around. As the bus travels through town and country, the world moves past René’s narrow observation slit in cinemascope. Everything seems close enough to touch and yet so very far away. The flood of images gives shape to the prisoner's memories, thoughts and visions. Not for a second does René allow his poker face to reveal any kind of emotion. And yet, during this period of transportation from one cell to another, there is space for a brief moment of empathy.
For the duration of one enforced winter’s journey, Raumfahrer explores the quiet, invisible yet omnipresent sense of the violence of imprisonment which robs detainees not only of their freedom but also their autonomy and, sometimes, their humanity.
by Georg Nonnenmacher Germany 2014 42’

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