124min original German/Spanish/Russian/Guarani version with English subtitles available
An ethnic German colony in Paraguay is in ruins. Although this colony exists less than 10 years, the dream of a social utopia that existed in this place, belongs to the past. Nikolai Neufeld, founder of the colony, is imprisoned for economic fraud, he has 60 million euros of debt and 1,700 creditors. About 15 years ago he bought lots of land in the remote area of Paraguay and started aggressively to promote to settle there. His audience was a minority in Germany, which is known as Russian-Germans, most of whom have German roots and have moved since the late 80’s from the former Soviet Union to Germany and lived there already 10 to 20 years. His great promise was a municipal, carefree life in the rural idyll away from all disappointments and constraints of modern civilization. Most of the houses in the colony are abandoned by now. Many families have returned to Germany or try their luck elsewhere, in other places in Paraguay, Argentina or Canada, -if they have relatives there. The film is about the people who stayed there and try to survive, as selfsufficient farmers, as ranchers and missionaries. The school they must pay themselves or teach their own children. Those willing to integrate send their children to the Paraguayan schools in the surrounding villages. All entrepreneurial efforts have proved to be experiments that went bankrupt. The bold vision Neufelds to become the largest macadamia producer in the world, has remained an illusion. The film is a meditation on their hard life after the breakup of all dreams. It is also about subliminal aggression within a community that lives isolated, is divided and feels threatened in its existence, if not willing to adapt. Many of them are now armed and the will to peacefully communicate fades more and more.