Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Die Mitte

The Center

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The geographical centre of Europe lies somewhere between North Cape, Greece, Portugal and Russia. But if you ask people where it is, one person will say he has no idea, another is convinced that it’s in Essen, a third happens to be on holiday; for a fourth person it’s right at the crux of the matter, while a fifth person is still looking for the proper point of view.
Polish filmmaker Stanislaw Mucha is still looking, too. He and his film crew take off on a lively odyssey until they find just what they’re looking for: over a dozen towns all claiming to be the “centre” of Europe. The people of Austria’s Braunau am Inn are allegedly at the heart of Europe, as are the population of Krahule in Slovakia. In the Polish town of Piþatek, someone swears that the centre has somehow disappeared. And in the western Ukrainian town of Rachiv, which has officially been the centre of Europe since 1887, we run into the last remaining Hasid, buying a newspaper called “Centre of Europe”.
This film follows a trail of errors, presumptions and bizarre self-assertions. It casts a particular light on eccentrics and visionaries, local patriots and continental utopians. Mucha shows how the growing struggle for survival on the part of those living both outside Europe’s old borders and inside the new ones is met with an even greater composure and sense of humour.
The people who live in these respective “centres” are the ones who determine our view of Europe. No centre is actually the centre and yet, every centre is the hub of the universe …

Germany 2003, 90 min


Stanislaw Mucha

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