Are we really our toughest critic?

Young filmmakers : We are our toughest critics

If the filmmakers of the Super Neun collective didn't see themselves as midwives, then they would be competitors. All are graduates of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). They all have different tastes. Everyone wants to win over distributors or broadcasters. Five young women and four young men decided over three years ago to support each other in making films. If the news comes back that a work has been sold or is running at a festival: "Then we are happy for the other," says Florian Aigner, "we are the obstetricians."

Super Nine was born during a seminar led by the documentary filmmaker Andres Veiel (“Black Box BRD”, “Die Spielwütigen”, “Der Kick”). The concept behind it is less aesthetic than pragmatic. “We are our first audience,” says David Sieveking. The group supports each other by criticizing each other. Seven films have now been finished. This weekend they will be shown in the Babylon-Mitte cinema: seven works that are as different as their makers: Teresina Moscatiello, Nadja Höhfeld, Eva Stotz, Anne Pütz, Florian Aigner, David Sieveking, Sebastian Heidinger, Donald Houwer and Hanna Doose.

Eva Stotz's “predetermined breaking point”, for example, is an observational essay on the value of work in German society. The starting point was the story of his own father, who was bullied out of his company after forty years. The HR manager put him in a private office and barred contact with colleagues. The images are ciphers of everyday work: glances into illuminated office towers, tired faces in rush hour traffic, contrasted by a shepherd in a romantic landscape.

On the other hand, the "Jesus Freaks" that Anne Pütz portrays in her film of the same name seem strange. The Jesus Freaks are a Christian movement with a youthful touch. There God is "blatantly worshiped", as the girls Claire, Helke and Mireille say. Anne Pütz has managed to film the so-called "Godis" during intimate moments such as prayer or baptism. This is not a display of eccentricities, but a sensitive look at three young women who are looking for identity.

The three heroin addicts whom Sebastian Heidinger accompanied in his documentary “Drifter” are looking for money for the next print. Aileen, Angel and Daniel, between 16 and 26, live on the streets and prostitute themselves. For this film, which manages without interviews and accompanies the young people in their everyday struggle with no desire for sensation, Heidinger was awarded the prize of the "Perspektive Deutsches Kino" section at the 2008 Berlinale. The Super Nine group does not have an aesthetic dogma. If a trademark is to be found, then it is the trusting interaction with the protagonists that unites these seven consistently intense films. That makes them relentless at the same time: the camera films when one of the drug addicts puts a syringe in the public toilet. The camera films when the father suddenly bursts into tears, gets up, walks out of the picture and leaves an empty chair. The films give their viewers time to watch. Does the lecturer's influence have an impact? “Andres Veiel always said that the seminar was an act of slowing down,” recalls Sebastian Heidinger.

Sometimes it was necessary. David Sieveking ("Senegallemand") struggled with the fact that his cameraman was stuck on the Senegalese border. The relationship between Eva Stotz and her father suffered from the shooting. Sebastian Heidinger was attached to his "directing vanities" and was reluctant to part with scenes that he particularly liked, but which the others found superfluous. “We were on a research trip together as a group for three years. We have evolved, ”says Teresina Moscatiello (“ do better on the battlefield ”). The next generation should now benefit from this. For their film festival, a book will be published in the series “Praxis Film” (uvk) in which they report very personally about the history of their films, a making-of including all the beginners' mistakes. They are not embarrassed. “We have had experience to the power of nine,” says David Sieveking. The others nod enthusiastically. A new word game is born.

Babylon-Mitte, January 31st and February 1st, with workshop by Teresina Moscatiello, conversation with Andres Veiel and party. Program: www.super-9.de

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