INDEPENDENCE   –  The Film

Part of the two-year project FIGHT (FOR) INDEPENDENCE

In cooperation with the Oldenburg State Theater as part of the Flausen+Banden-Festival,

the State Theater Nuremberg,

the Ballhaus Ost Berlin,

and the Edith-Russ-House for Media Art

Currently in post-production. Premiere in 2022/23

The Afro-German actor Helen Wendt takes the audience on a journey through independence movements in Mozambique, South Sudan, Great Britain, Catalonia and Bavaria, while fighting for her individual independence and identity within the systemic racist structures in her own life.

What does independence mean today? Do we want to fight for or against it? And how do colonialism and racism, the causes of many independence movements, continue to define us until now?

The camera embeds within angry protests, portraits emotional reports of politicians, freedom fighters, refugees and ordinary citizens, glides through meditative imagery of coastlines and mountains and unites the polyphonic narratives at recent Black Lives Matter rallies in Berlin.

Optionally with German or English subtitles
90min

The project “Fight (For) Independence” stretches over two years and thousands of kilometers, in order to diversify perspectives on the subject and to decolonise narratives. To this end, Costa Compagnie from Berlin joined forces with the State Theater Nuremberg and the Oldenburg State Theater and set out from this triangle to two European and two African countries to follow the call for “Independence”. The research began in civil war-torn South Sudan, the youngest state in the world, which gained independence from the rest of Sudan after a long armed struggle. It continued at the formerly planned date of  Brexit in March 2019, amidst the political turmoil in the United Kingdom and from there headed on to the federal state of Bavaria, where a party is also seeking separation from the nation state of Germany. The cinematic-journalistic performance “Independence for All” was presented on stage in Nuremberg and Berlin in the summer of 2019.

In the 2019/20 season, the research continued with Catalonia’s attempts to break away from the nation state, which served as the basis for the choreographic installation “Independence in Space” that was developed together with the Catalan dancer Montserrat Gardó Castillo, and which finally will lead on to Mozambique’s fight for independence.

Originally, the multimedia performance “Independence for You” was planned on stage for the Banden! theatre festival. As no rehearsals could take place due to Covid-19, the Costa Compagnie started the (post-)production of the film “Independence” instead. A presentation of the process including panel discussions took place online in July 2020. The Banden! theatre festival was followed up online in 2021, also with an online discussion of the Oldenburg research participants. The film will premiere in 2022/23 and be presented in cinemas in 2023.

In German and English language

Writer and Director: Felix Meyer-Christian Co-Writer & Research in Mozambique: Helen Wendt Camera: Philine Von Düszeln, Felix Meyer-Christian, Thomas Oswald Editor: Stéphanie Morin Music: Marcus Thomas Coding, Virtual Reality: Erik Kundt Color Correction: Eric Birnbaum, Keren Chernizon Stage, Costumes: Lydia Sonderegger Dramaturgy: Hauke Heumann Outside Eye: Zahava Rodrigo Collaboration Research – Germany: Hauke Heumann, Lisa Mies, David Pallant, Maria Walser Spain: Agnes Kammerer, Jens Ochlast England:  Sascha Kölzow, Raphael Rubino Stringer, Collaboration Mozambique: Timoteo Maposse Stringer, Collaboration South Sudan: Samir Bol, Ismail Omar Production Management: Franziska Merlo Production Film Press: Helga-Mari Steininger Dramaturgy and Coordination State Theatres Oldenburg und Nürnberg: Marc-Oliver Krampe, Sascha Kölzow Orchestra recordings Oldenburg: Jan Bergström (Oboe/ Englischhorn), Michael Hagemeister (Kontrabass), Agnes Izdebska (Violine), Jens Pfaff (Fagott) Assistant Oldenburg: Aisha Abo-Mostafa Assistant Nürnberg: Michael Königstein

With great thanks to all interview partners!

Credit Photos: Thomas Oswald, Felix Meyer-Christian

Funded by the Doppelpass Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation

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A production of Costa Compagnie in cooperation with the Oldenburg State Theater and the State Theater Nuremberg, as well as the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art

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In cooperation with the flausen-BANDEN-Festival and the Ballhaus Ost Berlin

Kindly supported by INVR.SPACE

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