Feature Length Films
I am Anastasia | Ich bin Anastasia (Original Title)
2019, Documentary Film, 95 min.
When Lieutenant Colonel Anastasia Biefang came out as transgender at the height of her military career, she became the first trans female commander in the history of Germany’s armed forces.
In I AM ANASTASIA, director Thomas Ladenburger follows her personal and professional journey, including her physical transition, increasing demands on her as a military leader, and the stress of planning a wedding before being deployed to Afghanistan. With unprecedented support from top military officials, Anastasia leads her family, friends, colleagues, and more than 700 soldiers to a place of love, acceptance, and respect.
Audience Award - Seattle Queer Film Festival
Audience Award - Perlen QFF Hannover
Jury Award - Oslo Fusion International Film Festival
The film was supported by:
Al Halqa - In the Storyteller's Circle
2010, Documentary, 90 min.
On Djemaa el Fna Square in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, Abderahim El Maqori tells stories that he has been collecting in his mind and heart since he was a child. Now that he is growing older, he is teaching his son Zoheir the tricks of a dying trade.
In the Halqa, the storyteller's circle, the boy practices his skills and his father provides blunt criticism. Once Zoheir, who got his name from a story that Abderahim told the day he was born, is ready for it, he and his father travel to Fez, the intellectual capital of Morocco, for the ultimate test on the large city square. The camera follows the pair on their journey, which is interspersed with stories about ghosts, kings, shoemakers and animals, and we get to see the special bond between father and son, who certainly do not agree with one another all the time. Zoheir has to find his own style for a new generation of listeners, who do not only want to hear about days long past, but also get information about things like AIDS. For the rest, the Halaiqi are not alone in wanting to keep the folk traditions intact. Zoheir's favorite actor Mohamed Hassan El Joundi explains why he records stories of bygone eras in his studio: stories nurture people and teach them to have ambitions and dreams.
The film was supported by:
For Myself And The Others
2010, Documentary, 90 min
Views of a vast Andalusian lanscape are the first images that Thomas Ladenburger uses for his cinematographic portrait of Paola Beate von Pückler.
In between the surrounding hills, the seaside appears. Above the horizon waves an idea of Northern Africa. It is here, where the semiotician settled down, milks her coats, talks about her cancer with whom she lives in peace - and the ongoing pleasures of perception: seeing, listening, refliecting, writing - and death.
The openness and curiosity that both filmmaker and protagonist eradiate are astonishing and carry the film. Together, they go on a jouney. The gliding flight of a bird above the andalusian stone huts merge with a swarm of birds abobe the busy capital of Cairo inmidst Ramadan, the islamic fasting month.
For Paola Beate von Pückler, Egypt was the country to turn away from her other-directed life as diplomatic wife - fourty years ago. She describes her
Sudden transformation to a „wanderer“, her work and creation on a self-given misson, her hard work to accomodate words and action which is moved by the love of people and landscapes as well as an instinctive recognition of new affiliations.
The pyramids rise behind the brick buildings of the periphery – stranger and on the same time more accessible then in any other relation. Both travelers eplore the daily life of the people and fit out a caravan in order to set off to the desert. Under pylons next to the highway they pitch their tents for the night. It is not about leaving the civilisation but to understand it in a different manner.
Poem About Platz Djemaa El Fna Square
2013, Documentary, 5 min.
This poem about the market square Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech was written by Abderahim El Maqori - one of the last storytellers in Morocco. He describes the "red city of smiling people" with its ancient square whose protagonists and performers hand on their knowledge from generation to generation through oral transmission. This is why UNESCO declared the wisdom of these so called "hlaiqi" on Djemaa El Fna as "Intangible World Heritage of Humanity".
The Halqa of the Shrifa Aicha Benbaha
2013, Documentary, 19 min.
Aicha Benbaha is one of the few women to per- form her show on Jemaa el Fna square. Just as a woman she wants to continue the old craft tradition of her family.
Bouia Omar, Tamer of Demons
2013, Documentary, 18 min.
Bouia Omar is known as a place in Morocco, where mentally ill are often treated with archa- ic methods. The „Rahali“ with the boiling caul- dron was one of them.
Trance and Snakes - The Aissawa
2013, Documentary, 20 min.
The Aissawa, a religious and mystical brother- hood that goes back to the Sufi saint Muham- mad Ben Aissa, work on the Djemaa el Fna, especially with their snakes.
Hassan's Rooster Training
2013, Documentary, 10 min.
Hassan Hansha is playing traditional Berber music with his son and his troupe - sounds from the region of Ait Baha.
Mustapha El Hansh - der junge Magier
2013, Dokumentarfilm, 17 min.
Mustapha El Hansh is one of the youngest Hlaiqi of the Jemaa El Fna. Without lighting effects or protection of a theater house, he astounds his audience with magic tricks.
The Herb Men From The Desert
2013, Documentary, 15 min. 58 sec.
Before there were chemists and hospitals, the Saharawi traveled from Tata to all over the coun- try with their herbs. Until today this knowledge has been preserved.
The Halqa of „Msieh“
2013, Documentary, 16 min. 15 sec.
The Comedy of Msieh is one of the most popular Halqas in the square, partially influenced by the legendary Halqa of „Taieb Al Hasharat“, „Doctor of Insects“.
2013, Documentary, 11 min. 09 sec.
In a time when women were not allowed to ap- pear in public, men have dressed in women‘s clothes. They dance on metal drums to the sound of the violin.
The Poetry Of The Melhoun
2013, Documentary, 14 min.
Melhoun - Andalusian music is a form of sung poetry. The Qasida, stanzas are often created in praise of Allah for beauty and creation.
"sweep-poem" for 2 vacuum-cleaner and 2 people
with Astrid Menze
2001, Performance for Kunstverein Ellwangen
A “Kehrdicht”, a "sweep-poem" about words and their metamorphosis. A vacuum-cleaner is writing new letters, the other hoovers them partly of fully. The meaning of the words change: "Derwisch" turns to "Erwischen" turns to "reicher". One to one, the video shifts between berformance and tangible poetry. "Kehrdicht" knots a carpet the entertaining way.
(from the exhibition catalogue “Architecture - Identity - Fiction” at Deutschen Bank /Unter den Linden Berlin, 2002)