The passing of my grandmother, the poem Das Spiel ist aus (The Game is Over) by Ingeborg Bachmann and Robert Schumann’s song Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet (I Wept in My Dream) were the starting points for making Those Who Fall Have Wings.
It is a film that takes a counter-position to a classic narrative structure where the audience is often deterred by facts and constructions from contributing.
We tried to make a movie that used a situation sketch as guideline and not a written script. Instead of rehearsing specific situations or analyzing them I used the preproduction time of Those Who Fall Have Wings to work out parts of the scenes with the actresses, after having worked on their characters and their characters’ backgrounds.
My concern was to put the performers in a state of awareness and responsibility towards their partners and not to confront them with the situations in the film unless they were on set in their characters. This process was very demanding, I sometimes had to rethink after observing and to adjust the editing in my head, while other knots were untied fruitfully.
The improvisation, modification or redesign of some scenes, of course, had an impact on the editing and a “writing in editing” – post-production process was foreseeable. This way of working – to let chance play a role and to trust new ideas that come up during the process of finding a solution within a situation – is not for everyone and not for every film. I chose this approach because it is a method that I know from making music and because it reflects the flowing atmosphere and structure of the poem that inspired me.
Another key to making the basic feeling of this film come to life – which, for me, is very similar to the pulse of a slow, musical flow in its conception – was the actress Jana McKinnon, with whom I have already worked on My Blind Heart. I am very happy about her courage to swim freely in an unknown water. For Kati is a character that extends herself so far into her memory and expands into such vast times that she almost dissolves in a very fascinating way.
The other person I owe much gratitude to is my mother, who took on the role of the Grandmother and acted for the first time in her life in front of a camera.
Some doors in this film will remain locked to those that do not have the courage to rely on their intuition but cling to the concrete. I refuse to accept that people of today need an instruction manual for everything. Those who insist on that will never see this movie anyway.
The basic idea of Those Who Fall Have Wings was always an abstract mood, which is connected to the parting of my grandmother. Six months after her death we shot this movie in her small, cramped house. Despite the demanding subject, the low budget and the time limitations, our shoot worked out thanks to our team and its passion founded on our common past and collaboration on My Blind Heart.
Each of us knows about bidding farewell. We get to know it already in kindergarten, when we say goodbye to our parents. During the making of this film I learned how difficult it is to find correspondences and ideas for the cinema for describing a person that goes through this phase in different variations and explores it in order to move on. “On” in this case will never be forward, backward, or downward, but will always remain an undetermined direction.
For me, this film, this kind of story is a matter of existence. Here you can see what you have, and you do not have much in the end, right?