SynopsisThe slag heap rises like a wall above the small town in the Mansfelder Land.
It’s a relic of a past when there was still mining and industry here – like the
“Glückauf” song that’s always intonated at the start of the Whitsun celebrations.
For centuries people have gathered on this date to drive out winter in
an archaic ritual. Men wallow in the mud of the unthawed meadows, digging
their nails in the earth to be chased away by boys in traditional white
costumes decorated with flowers who carry long whips.
We see Tom, Paul and Sebastian practice swinging their whips time and
again. The film observes them during the preparations for the big day and
enters deep into their world. It’s a modest environment where they dream
“that everyone has a job” and don’t talk about their feelings. Where they struggle not to go under at school or at the workplace and, above all, not to lose their solidarity – though everything else seems to dissolve.
In the last part of his Mansfeld trilogy, Mario Schneider once more looks at people neither the politicians nor the media are interested in. He does it with great warmth and respect. How seriously he takes the life here and the children’s and parents’ stories is proved by the music he devotes to them and uses as an important dramatic element. Nothing less than Stravinsky’s “Le sacre du printemps”, the “spring sacrifice”, stands for the expulsion of the old world. The new world is coming and it will be called Tom, Paul and Sebastian. (Grit Lemke / DOKLeipzig)