For Berliners, the Baltic island of Usedom was once the most luxurious destination for excursions within striking distance of the city. This is where imperial Germany’s grand health resorts of Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck were built. Heinz Brinkmann, who was born in Heringsdorf, traces the eventful history of his island. He talks about the magnificent villas on Europe’s longest beach promenade, about the expulsion of Jewish citizens by the Nazis and about Usedom being split into a German and a Polish half after the Second World War. During the GDR era, most of the spa architecture remained intact because of the lack of means to build something new. Since the fall of the Wall, however, investors have been trying to replace it with indistinguishable luxury residences.
Brinkmann also asks people about conservation and change. We hear from the mayor infuriated by the architectural eyesores of recent years, a farmer who bought an island in the Achterwasser lagoon for his organic cattle, a Polish hotel manageress and other bridge-builders between the two countries. Brinkmann also quotes from his own 1992 Usedom film and compares the plans of his former protagonists with today’s reality. A discursive tour through a fractured paradise.
Documentary form95 min · Colour
Born in Heringsdorf on the Baltic island of Usedom, Germany in 1948, he studied cinematography at the German Academy of Cinematic Art ‘Konrad Wolf’. Alongside working in their directing department as a teaching assistant and lecturer in camera and some outside studies, he received his diploma in directing there in 1975. Following that he worked as a freelance director, writer and cinematographer including for the DEFA newsreel Der Augenzeuge. He sat in on Benno Besson’s 1976 production of Die Hamletmaschine at the Volksbühne Berlin, and Thomas Langhoff’s Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at the Maxim-Gorki-Theater and worked as an assistant director on the DEFA feature film Das Pferdemädchen. Between 1983 and 1991 he worked as a director at the DEFA studio for documentary films. Since 1991 Brinkmann has been a freelance director and writer. He is a co-founder of the Mecklenburg/Vorpommern Film association and the Schweriner FilmKunstFest. From 1991 to 2006 he chaired the Mecklenburg/Vorpommern Film association and was involved in setting up the film and video workshops at the Landesfilmzentrum Schwerin and the film and media centre in Wismar.Filmography (selection)
1974 Alltag mit Widerständen 1984 Von der Kraft des Liedes 1986 Kerschowski - Ansichten eines Rocksängers; short film 1987 MISS-Wahl 1988 Die Karbid-Fabrik; short film 1990 Komm in den Garten 1992 Moment musical 2; short film · Das vorläufige Leben des Grafen Kiedorf 1993 Usedom. Ein deutsches Inselleben, Teil 1 · Guten Tag wie geht es ihnen? 1994 Der Irrgarten 1995 Horno und anderswo 1997 Akt(e) Peenemünde 1998 Die Stute auf dem Grasdach 2003 Hinter den Bergen 2005 InselLicht 2008 Sechs Tage - Sechs Nächte 2013 Fallwurf Böhme 2018 Usedom - Der freie Blick aufs Meer (Usedom - Clear View at the Sea)
Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018
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