Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Ein Sommer voller Türen

Charity Salesmen

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Going from door to door, asking for donations – that’s the work of the professional canvasser. Payment is made according to the canvasser’s success rate. This film follows the ups and downs of one young team of canvassers working for the charity Malteser during the course of one summer.
Seven young Austrian men, two Germans and one Hungarian woman out and about in small town Bavaria as canvassers paid to recruit donors to the Malteser charity. What at first sight might look like a holiday camp is in fact nothing but hard graft. Every morning, the canvassers have to go out into the ‘field’ and walk, walk, walk. They have to ring bells at hundreds of doors, appeal to people’s social conscience and urge them to give. Their mission is to persuade as many people as possible to sign up for an annual donation. Their wage is based on their success rate. If you don’t seal deals with potential donors you barely earn a thing. There are winners and losers in this game. Some give up – while others soon become real professionals in the art of selling benevolence. The filmmakers followed their heroes over a period of several weeks as they went from door-to-door and waited in front of intercoms and garden gates, the camera bearing witness to the protagonists’ victories and failures, as well as some bizarre encounters.
Stefan Ludwig: “EIN SOMMER VOLLER TÜREN is a film that follows in the footsteps of American direct cinema, a film that takes its cue proudly and full of respect from wonderful role models such as SALESMAN (1968) and DIE BLUME DER HAUSFRAU (1999). This is pure observation, without interviews and commentary. The cinematographer Thomas Beckmann and
I lived together with our protagonists for several weeks; we went with them into the ‘field’ every morning and followed the canvassers, our camera at the ready. We were basically a part of the group.”

Germany 2010, 73 min

by

Stefan Ludwig