Fog spreads like a cloud bank over the bleak landscape of Goldenstedt Moor. Shapes slip dimly through the scene. That is how this year's EAK Festival winning film by Heinz-Werner Breiter begins. Impressions of the mysterious landscape from a flying camera alternate with atmospheric slow-motion scenes and information about the moor in northern Germany. A great movie with deeply felt empathy for this particular area.
It all began quite differently. Age twenty Heinz-Werner Breiter was in the army stationed at Diepholz, in the middle of Lower Saxony. "I hated the landscape profoundly! Apart from two village beauties there was nothing there. " 47 years later Breiter saw a TV report about a photographer who had pictured the moor. Inspired by the photographs, his youthful dreary memories suddenly gave way to a spontaneous inspiration. "I could make a movie out of it," was Breiter’s reaction.
First, without his photographic equipment, he explored possible locations in a Range Rover - from Klagenfurt! In total Heinz-Werner Breiter travelled seven times over the year, from the deep south to the flat moorland. Extensive research accompanied the elaborate filming. Breiter stayed either in a rented holiday home or in hotels in order to make contact with the locals and gather information at the pub. For the impressive film sequence about the moor frog, which displays its blue mating colour only once a year, Heinz-Werner Breiter got a phone-call in Klagenfurt, to race north the next day. A 90 year-old man had given special attention to sites with sundew. In some cases a significant amount of time and patience was needed to capture specific scenes at the right moment; for example, the capture of a dragonfly by a spider in its web.
Heinz-Werner Breiter’s film lives mainly in the very special atmosphere of the moor, which he managed to capture in an exemplary manner. The wide open spaces with their patterns could only be effectively shot with a drone. A camera crane helped the passionate amateur filmmaker to achieve professional rising and falling shots. A 1.40m glide-rail created movement in the image when the subjects offered none. Breiter underscored the impressionistic moods of the moor with musical soundscapes.
Heinz-Werner Breiter says: "I enjoyed the peace and the nature of this unique landscape." And not just him; the audience were able to share the mood through his film.