On the Unstrut River
(An der Unstrut)
An der Unstrut © DEFA-Stiftung
The town of Memleben in the Unstrut Valley (today part of Saxony-Anhalt) was the center of Europe more than a millenium ago. The first German king Heinrich I and his son Otto I had their royal residence here and ruins of closters and fortresses remind the viewer of the past. This history is complemented by the modern factories and agricultural collectives of the 1980s, as well as by interviews with workers and residents. To accompany these images, actor Rolf Hoppe reads excerpts from the writings of Willibald Alexis, Friedrich Hölderlin, Johannes Bobrowski and Wladimir Majakowski.
This poetic documentary by Volker Koepp uses a specific local to raise broader questions of the relationship between human society and nature.