“What do we see when we can’t see something?” This is the question that Chris Wright, one of the two directors, poses off-screen at the beginning. It’s a big question and one that takes him to the heart of a key dilemma in documentary filmmaking.
What we don’t see is the face of the most important figure in the film, Stefan S., who is serving a life sentence in a Brandenburg jail. He can leave the prison from time to time; release on parole is also a possibility, but the weight of the guilt hangs heavy. Stefan S. killed a female colleague of his after stalking her. This generates unease. Who wants to deal with a criminal? Who wants to even see him?
Filmmakers Chris Wright and Stefan Kolbe have never been ones to separate off the difficult facets of human existence. They keep looking, even as Stefan S. withdraws. They substitute the absence of the perpetrator’s face by allowing a puppet and two puppeteers to take the stage, supplemented by masks, reflections and projections. The film is held together by the motif of threads and strings, and the voiceover has the courage to express doubts about the entire endeavour. (Cristina Nord)
Chris Wright, born in 1972 in Radcliffe, UK. He studied film editing and works as an editor and documentary filmmaker, usually in collaboration with Stefan Kolbe.
Stefan Kolbe, born in 1972 in Halle an der Saale, East Germany. He has a degree in cinematography and has made numerous documentaries since 1997, most of them in collaboration with Chris Wright.
Production Heino Deckert. Production company Ma.ja.de. Filmproduktion (Leipzig, Germany). Written and directed by Stefan Kolbe, Chris Wright. Cinematography Stefan Kolbe. Editing Chris Wright. Music Johannes Winde. Sound Chris Wright. Production manager Tina Börner. Executive producer Heino Deckert. With Nadia Ihjeij, Josephine Hock.
World sales Deckert Distribution
Films: Chris Wright: 1999: Nernich – Nirgends nichts / Nernich – Nowhere Nothing (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 76 min.). 2003: Technik des Glücks / The Progress of Happiness (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 68 min.). 2006: Das Block / The Block (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 75 min.). 2010: Auf dem Wachstumspfad / The Disciple (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 29 min.), Kleinstheim / The Home (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 87 min.). 2014: Pfarrer / Priests (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 90 min.). 2016: Mutterglück / Mother's Joy (co-directed by Stefan Kolbe, 40 min.).