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Deep Roots | Dormant Branches

"Deep Roots | Dormant Branches" by Emiliy Smith

Synopsis: Along the border with Poland, not far from Berlin, Lunow sits on the edge of a familiar past and an uncertain future. Residents stand tall in the face of steady depopulation, rising unemployment and an aging trend. This unique documentary focuses on two generations who perhaps best bracket the larger historical, political and social shift of German reunification. A handful of retired volunteers from the heritage museum collect, preserve and share the town's stories and artefacts, looking back on their lives with a sharp tongue that resonates still today. Meanwhile the "Wende" kids of the teen club, born after the Berlin Wall fell, are entering adulthood with bravado while facing limited prospects. Both generations hold tightly to their roles in the village yet are connected in more ways than one might expect. Deep Roots | Dormant Branches manages to peel away the stereotypes about post-unification, small town Germany. Through ethnographic, collaborative and self-reflexive methods, Smith's approach is attentive, genuine and playful.

Image: "Deep Roots | Dormant Branches" by Emiliy Smith

This film was invited to the following festival: