The Scar Berlin is a film dealing with the former division of the city of Berlin into East Berlin, the capital of the GDR, and West-Berlin, a symbol for Western freedom of thought and movement. The Wall was carved into the landscape in 1961 and fell in a peaceful revolution in 1989. 20 years after the eradication of the German divide, The Scar features the total length of the approximately 160 km-long former Death-Strip isolating West-Berlin within the East German State: this heavily guarded zone that reinforced the “anti-fascist protection bulwark” was between 70 and 500 meters wide.
Filmmaker and visual artist Burkhard von Harder has enlisted the aid of a helicopter to keep precise course on the former divide line. Starting and ending at Schönefeld airport, this real-time film documentation shows the “Scar” still in the process of healing and visually encircling the Western city.
For von Harder, as for many German families, the divide had a personal resonance. The artist’s mother’s family was from Leipzig in the East, and his father’s family from Hamburg in the West. The family legacy and histories were captive to the political forces that enclosed them. After the war, his divorced parents lived on a north south polarity, creating a personal compass for the artist, where his own travels to his family homes created an interior split.
The original soundtrack produced by Sound researchers FM Einheit, former member of the German experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten, and Klaus Wiese (1942-2009), former member of the group Popol Vuh, underlines the magical aerial views of the city under snow with a definite uneasiness, permanently reminding us of the past. When the helicopter reaches Wannsee, the city turmoil runs into a more meditative rhythm.
The Scar Berlin is part one of a dual project. Part two, The Scar Germany, is an approx. 15 hour-long voyage through Germany from Saxony to the Baltic Sea and is currently in production for 2010.
Camera: Evert Cloetens; Editing: Alex Beyer; Original soundtrack: FM Einheit, Klaus Wiese (1942-2009); Production: BVH Pictures, Berlin 2009
Date + Times
Monday, November 9
The Main Gallery
51 Bergen St.