Free State Midpoint portraits the hermit Ernst Otto Karl Grassmé, who was a victim of eugenics. During the Nazi regime he was forcibly sterilized and disenfranchised. As a result he spent the rest of his life in the woods. His letters to a teenage girl from the neighbourhood and records of prolonged legal battles provide insight into his struggle for a dignifed life. It continued in post-war Germany, which refused to give him recognition and reparation. Using a transzendental style the film raises the question what a dignified life looks like and how it depends on societal circumstances.
"The film has shaken me deeply. It is impossible not to get drawn into it. Because what is told to us is not delivered by commentary, but in the voices of the victimised. I feel a responsibility and I am ashamed of the justice system, which, even after 1945, shamelessly continued to exercise the Nazi-Justice (Hereditary Health Law) in the Federal Republic of Germany - until 1991. I find the visual form ingenious. It doesn’t illustrate the horrible events as files, law texts and self-righteous commentators. On the contrary, it shows us open bucolic meadows, fields, pastures, and woods in which the affected people lived. Far away from the self-righteous functionaries in their offices. This film stands in direct contrast to the dry, scientific, research-based contemporary documentation of the past. It is vivid and aims at something known to us all: Humanity and the Human Spirit. Everyone should see this film." (Dietrich Kuhlbrodt)
With: Emmi Buttmann, Yvonne Schlofeld & Lady, Monika Glindmeier, der Jagdgemeinschaft Hohenfelde, Ute & Dirk Schäfer, Maren & Bernd Reimers, Anke & Stephan Hannemann, Marion Nörenberg, Sabine Uchtmann, Gerrit Friske, Marco Kaiser, Thomas Matzekwitz, Ulrich Palmer, der Gemeinde Brande-Hörnerkirchen, der Familie Flöter
2019 Seal of Approval ‘highly recommended’ visions du reél industry Media Library 61 Nordic Film Days Lübeck 16. dokumentarfilmwoche hamburg Film Fest Schleswig/Holstein