Director's Note – Note of Intention
STILL WATERS is a documentary film about the time after the flood disaster in Germany in the Ahr valley in 2021. Almost half a year later, we accompanied two people in the cold season and talked to them about their feelings, memories and their view of the future, which fluctuates between hope and hopelessness.
We deliberately refrained from using cell phone footage and video footage from the night of the disaster. These images are already familiar to many and we did not want to trigger any further trauma.
What was interesting for us was the onset of winter in the area, which was still very much marked by destruction. For the people in the Ahr valley, a change was imminent: will they be able to heat their houses in time or will they have to find another place to live for the winter? Here, many also asked themselves the question, do I really stay here or do I move away?
We also wanted to show that there is not only destruction, suffering and fear of the future, but also hope and love for the little things in life. For example, a handful of goldfish or the return of a koi carp that was washed away with the flood a few places away. Capturing that poetry in the difficult times was essential for us. During my many visits, I noticed how much the people in the Ahr Valley are connected to their homeland.
Moving away is out of the question for quite a few there. Even with the knowledge in the back of their minds that the water will come back one day.
When I read an article in the New York Times about the catastrophe in July I learned that there were plans to improve flood protection after the 1910 flood disaster. Instead the Nürburgring, the largest Formula 1 race track in the world was built. This fact made me think because the Nürburgring is only 40 kilometers away from the Ahr Valley. A race track in Germany, the land of the automobile, of unrestricted speeding on highways, prioritized over flood protection, is absurd.
This prioritisation of economic interests over those of climate protection is transferable to many other places in the world, be it the rainforests in the Amazon or the villages in the forests of California.
Director: Kevin Koch
Cinematographer: Anian Krone
Field Recording: Timo Kleinemeier
Producer: Franziska Unger
Editor: Emma Holzapfel
Sound Design: Timo Kleinemeier
Colorgrading: Anian Krone
Composer: Peter Albrecht
Production: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg GmbH
56. Internationale Hofer Filmtage 2022
Flickers Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival 2022 / Semi-Finalist
LetsDok Dokumentarfilmtage Köln 2022
Filmz Festival des deutschen Films Mainz 2022
Cinema Talks Film Festival Graz 2023 / Honorable Mention
Sehsüchte Studierenden Film Festival Potsdam 2023
Bundesfestival junger Film 2023 / Best Film
Dortmunder Tresen Filmfestival 2023
Dok.fest München 2023 / Best Doks Student Award
Filmfest Weiterstadt 2023
Fünf Seen Filmfestival 2023
Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary Turkey 2023
Filmfestival Max-Ophüls Preis / Gastprogramm Bundesfestival junger Film 2024
Filmtage Friedrichshafen 2024
Internationale Grenzland Filmtage Selb 2024
FBW Filmbewertung Wiesbaden Prädikat Besonders Wertvoll