120 MINUTES, HISTORICAL MELODRAMA
WRITERS: ROLF BASEDOW, GABRIEL HEIM
PRODUCER: ONE TWO FILMS
FUNDING: FFA DEVELOPMENT & SCRIPT FUNDING
SEEKING FOR: DISTRIBUTION, FINANCING, INVESTORS
Berlin 1945. The war is over and the four Allied Powers have taken control. Thousands of Jews who have survived the war somewhere in Europe, are gathered in post-war Berlin. They have no other place to go. These so called ‘DPs‘ (Displaced Persons) bring their language, their culture, and their music to Berlin, before moving on to America, Argentina or Palestine. These men, women, children and youths are neither winners nor moralists. They are eager to enjoy life again after exhausting years in darkness and total deprivation. They want to be a ‘Mensch‘ among others. In this intense emotional setting, four young people meet and become close friends, helping one other in every situation with courage, charm and chutzpah. These first years in Berlin feel like a long, long summer that ends in 1948 when General Eisenhower evacuates most of the remaining 6.000 DPs with the empty air-lift ‘candy Bombers‘ out of cold war Berlin.
CO-WRITER / RESEARCH: GABRIEL HEIM
Gabriel Heim was born 1950 in Zurich and graduated from the Munich film school. In the following years he produced a large number of TV documentaries for German television ARD. 1985 he became a senior correspondent for Swiss Television, covering Middle East and White House affairs in the US. Between 1991 and 2003 he continued his career at WDR, Cologne; first as program manager, later as the head of the program-planning & development unit. From 2000 on he was senior executive of all WDR programs. In 2003 he was appointed Television Director to the ARD-affiliate RBB in Berlin. Among other innovations he has strongly backed many fictional TV films and series in Berlin. In 2008 he left television to go back to filmmaking. Berlin Balagan is based on the research and fictionalized characters of his acclaimed documentary Transit Berlin (2009).
The Second World War is probably the biggest source of stories in the history of cinema. The list of successful films is endless. And yet, there are still stories to be told, stories worth telling. Berlin Balagan brings a new aspect to the screen and is set in a time where most of the afore-mentioned films end: the ending of the war is the beginning of the film. It’s a time when people are learning to be human beings again, young people, full of vibrant energy willing to live their life no matter what comes. We strongly believe that this positive story, depicting the first years of a whole generation and set at the epicentre of dramatic post-war turmoil, will gain interest all over the world.