SynopsisUlrike Ottinger’s latest film Chamisso’s Shadow brought her to remote regions of the Bering Sea. The wind, waves, and an interest in the people took her to the Kamchatka and Chukchi Peninsulas, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands. Here, far in the north, the Eurasian and the North American continent meet, offering the eye spectacular ocean and volcanic landscapes with related ethnicities and cultures that are shaped by a long story of colonial oppression and yet have maintained elements of their indigenous language and their ancient knowledge. The economic and geopolitical interests of the residents collide with those of global politics.
Inspired by historical reports of famous explorers such as Alexander von Humboldt, Georg Wilhelm Steller, Reinhold and Georg Forster, and especially Adelbert von Chamisso, Ulrike Ottinger went on a journey. Like her predecessors, she kept her own log and shot impressive footage of the landscape, plants, and animals of the people living there. With her very own artistic-ethnographic gaze she links the historical reports, findings and visual representations with her own personal travel notes and footage. The past and present meet in film, revealing historical and cultural transformations. A tense relationship emerges between then and now, showing how inseparable the two are: like the shadow of the title character in Adelbert von Chamisso’s Peter Schlemihl’s Miraculous Story who first loses his shadow and then chases it across all the continents in his seven-league boots.
chapter one: ALASKA UND DIE ALEUTISCHEN INSELN
chapter two: TSCHUKOTKA UND WRANGEL-INSELN
chapter three: KAMTCHATKA UND DIE BERING-INSEL
720min in 3 parts: 195min / 156min / 177min | DCP | DVD | VOP |
original German/English/Russian/Ewenian/Chukoto-Kamchatkan version with English or German subtitles available