Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Menschen im Busch

People in the Bush

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A portrait of daily life and work in an African village. Seemingly untouched by colonial influences, the inhabitants are entirely self-sufficient. Ethnologist Gulla Pfeffer and cameraman Friedrich Dalsheim found the village of the Ewe people in the interior of Togo, which was a German colony until 1914. Work in the fields, hunting, preparing meals, weaving, pottery, dancing, and religious rites govern the life of a community whose most modern convenience is a telephone of tin cans and a string. Original speech recordings, everyday sounds, and orchestra music are concentrated into an ethnographic, documentary study, with drums, songs, and ecstatic dances culminating in a “finale furioso” … “People in the Bush is considered one of the most poetic films of its day. It was the first time that German filmmakers consistently represented the point of view of their documentary subjects. With no off-camera narration, the Togolese Ewe from this former German colony talk about their daily routines and life in the Chelekpe village. All of the speech was re-recorded during post-production in Berlin, which was also a first in the history of colonial and expedition films.” (Gerlinde Waz)

Friedrich Dalsheim
Gulla Pfeffer

Germany 1930

German, Idioma ewé

Documentary form
64’ · Black/White · 35 mm


Written and Directed by
Friedrich Dalsheim, Gulla Pfeffer
Friedrich Dalsheim
Hans Oser
Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg
Wolfgang Zeller
Adolf Jansen
Friedrich Dalsheim

Film Print: Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin