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DIE seltsame Hi...

1961 /
A house without windows, square wheels and somersaults uphill - the opulent, operatic puppet show of the old history of the shield citizens led to a scandal at DEFA. The film was the first major project of the DEFA animation studio, in feature length, cinemascope and 4-channel magnetic sound. Although the puppets still seem somewhat cumbersome, the elaborate music composed especially by Wolfgang Hohensee and the choreographed puppet movements are astonishing from today's point of view. The song of praise to stupidity is seen by some party leaders as an affront, for the director this film heralds the end of work at DEFA. An absolute rarity! GL

Jańske jěchanje...

1961 /
Preparations for a wild ride: A young man is adorned by girls with cornflower tendrils and a crown. With a group he rides in the open while the assembled village community tries to catch his crown. A hunt after old sorbian custom, as it is preserved only in Casel, not far from Cottbus. The silent black-and-white photographs document the custom, as it was common in the whole of Lower Lusatia in the past. He goes back to the belief that the night before the 24th of June has special powers that pass over to the spirit of growth of Johann and his crown. Since 2014 it has been listed in the German UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. The Institut für sorbische Volksforschung (Institute for Sorbian People's Research) regularly had customs documented on film in order to preserve them for posterity despite the threat of assimilation. GL