In the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, Berlin Schönefeld quietly closed its doors forever, with a large part of its infrastructure becoming incorporated into the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which opened in October 2020. Angelika Nguyen’s 1991 documentary film BRUDERLAND IST ABGEBRANNT portrays the airport, now already a relic, as a discourteous heterotopia, where Vietnamese workers are given a terse farewell as compensation for building the economy of the former East Berlin. More than just a document, the film is a testimony to the reprehensible treatment of Vietnamese guest workers. Having endured abuse, violent attacks, forced abortions and appalling living conditions, the workers were left without employment once the agreements signed by the reunified Socialist Republic of Vietnam and East Germany became null and void post-reunification. The film depicts life both inside and outside the worker dormitories, with the most persuasive scenes shot inside the airport. German bureaucracy is revealed to be sadly incompetent in performing a respectful valediction to the departing comrades. (Karina Griffith)
Angelika Nguyen, born in 1961 in the former East Germany to German-Vietnamese parents, studied film and is an author, curator and film journalist. Her essay “Mutter, wie weit ist Vietnam?” (Mother, how far away is Vietnam?) about her childhood experiences of racism was published in 2011.
Written and directed by Angelika Nguyen Cinematography Dieter Chill Editing Sven Czimmek, Karl Sorge Sound Robert Henke Assistant director Maren Köster Producer Kerstin Leppin With Pham Quoc Bao,Le Duy Trung,Huong,Quang, Binh.