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Giving a face to the victims of coal mining

There is a wonderful music video, maybe it's the most wonderful music video ever.

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Giving a face to the victims of coal mining

There is a wonderful music video, maybe it's the most wonderful music video ever. Old people dance together, it moves you to tears. Behind them, on the wall, you see pictures, you see what they used to be.

Beautiful couples. They are still beautiful couples. Some dance alone because those they used to dance with have left. That's what life with people is all about. That's what makes it so beautiful and so sad. And Leonard Cohen sings "Dance Me to the End of Love".

At the beginning of "Abbruch Kante", the new "crime scene" in Cologne, Peter and Inge dance together. You've dressed up. You still have each other. You are not young anymore. They drank champagne. They dance to the end of love, of time. your time.

Then they lie down on the bed like Stefan Zweig and his wife did back in the jungle of Brazil. And then they fall asleep. Two who have lost their homes. They said their wedding vows again. Wherever you go, I want to go too, where you die, I also want to die.

It's always somehow about dying in the "crime scene". "Abbruch Kante" is about living on. About the survival of the dead. Dead people, dead communities. Peter used to be the mayor of Bützenich. That's not far from the Cologne city limits. Bützenich does not exist. It is the cross sum of Garzweiler and Lützerath and a dozen other villages that were completely or almost eaten up by lignite mining.

Since the demolition edge of coal mining came up to the town limits, there has been Alt-Bützenich and Neu-Bützenich. The abandoned village and the new village that the "corporation" (you have to think of it as RWE) put the expellees from the edge of the area in the area.

The abandoned village – living, lived-in architecture, old courtyards, the church, a wonderful brick thing, stands defiantly in the middle – is gradually being overtaken by nature. And the new village – aseptic architecture, circling streets, model houses, the church, a perverted highway chapel thing, is right in the middle, nature doesn't stand a chance in the cemented front yards of horror. They are both dead. "Abbruch Kante" is actually a zombie film.

Eva and Volker A. Zahn, who wrote the screenplay, and Torsten C. Fischer, who directed it, is not about a cheap contribution to the debate on resistance to lignite mining. They figure that out quickly. They are concerned with an in-depth exploration of the area in which all this is taking place, with giving the real victims of the forced resettlement a face, a story.

They make that clear with Volker and Inge. In order to show people and fade in their names, which are not the names of the actors, but those of the characters who are fighting with the wounds on the edge of the gigantic wound in the landscape, which the fight for their home, for their village, for their togetherness has beaten inside them.

The obligatory dead man, without whom Freddy Schenk and Max Ballauf, the inspector who is increasingly driving towards the edge of his (private) existence, would probably never have left their actual big city biotope in the land of the digging dinosaurs, lies shot dead in his deserted one House in Alt-Bützenich. dr His name was Franzen.

He was the village doctor of Bützenich. He wasn't a nice person. He bought up the houses of people who didn't want to sell to the company. But when Alt-Bützenich didn't go under the diggers and the old Bützenichers wanted to return, he didn't sell the land back.

It wasn't too long ago that "Abbruch Kante" would have been a completely different film. The story of Alt-Bützenich would have been told as an anti-capitalist horror story. With a villain from some management level who could be arrested in the end, responsible for the disaster that people do to each other under economic pressure.

Of course, “Abbruch Kante” is also a horror story. But it has become something that promises to become a trend in “Tatort”, a kind of post-ideological trend. An environmental study. A case of trauma impact research.

The commissars come to the village, as commissars like to come to villages. And the longer they stay - compelled by Freddy Schenk's lovely old but not very functional Ford Caprice - the deeper they dig into the tales of the ghosts that were once a village community.

The father whose daughter died protesting against the dredging. The sexton of the church, who now runs the village pub ("Zum crooked ox"), which nobody comes to anymore. The Doctor's beautiful widow who lost herself and custody of her son to red wine in the soulless new house.

The Peter that Inge promised to follow wherever he goes, to die where he dies, and who is dead now, while the Peter that the paramedics were able to save walks around like a ghost in his own life , between two houses in two villages, neither of which can be his.

Faces are important in this film. Loneliness that has become an image. Drone flights over the battered country. The inspector at the crossroads of his life (can you still make the change from old Ballauf to new Ballauf in your early sixties).

Nobody in Bützenich is interested in politics. And in the end you don't know if that's really good news.

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