83min original English/German/Malagasy version with German and English subtitles It begins quite harmlessly with the filmmaker’s memories of his great uncle Menko, who lived in Madagascar for many years and told enchanting stories of myths, magicians and crocodile spirits. The strangest thing, however, was the elephant bird’s egg he brought home which has disappeared. It’s the occasion of an elaborate research around the globe, into the cellars and storehouses of auctioneers, archives and natural history collections. Hajo Schomerus is almost magically attracted to these unspectacular looking places. They are both memory and mystery, trigger reflections and speculations.
The film walks the thin line between crime story and construction, sending out feelers into grey zones like biopiracy or diamond smuggling. The fact remains: Madagascar is a very special island with many plants and animals that are found only there. How naive, negligent or calculated are the actions of the adventurer, businessman and amateur
botanist really? Where is the borderline between ethnography and colonial conduct?
And where does the egg of the legendary extinct elephant bird which was of impressive size but couldn’t fly come in? Questions upon questions, raised casually and intelligently by the film from one clue to the next, in an examination of the fundamental relationship between Europe and Africa in the past century. (DOK Leipzig, Cornelia Klauß)