As a core part of Import Export
three documentary film essays are being developed under the project
headlines of: moving people, moving concepts, moving goods. The
films are produced by filmmakers from the Import Export
project network: Madhusree Dutta / Philip Scheffner (India), Michael
Woergoetter (Austria), Merle Kroeger / Dorothee Wenner (Germany).
All films are being presented within the film programme in each
of the cities and then published on DVD together with the publication.
BERLIN CHAPTER: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
August 11th, 2005
10.00 pm (Film)
August 13th, 2005
11.00 am (Film lecture)
Film / Film lecture:
Directors: Merle Kroeger and Dorothee Wenner
Germany 2005, Video, 85 min, Engl./German/Hindi, Engl. subtitles,
Photography: Bernd Meiners, Editing: Merle Kroeger, Music: Philip
Scheffner, Sound: Pascal Capitolin
Germans who spend time in India are surprisingly often approached
on their view on ‘the Mercedes’ – even when the
traveller is quite ignorant about cars and often not as well informed
about the issue as the interlocutor from the other end of the world.
As much as this may please the car company in Sindelfingen –
the consequences and implications of this associative link are too
labyrinthine and complex to be dealt with simply looking at the
number of cars sold in the respective countries.
This is precisely the subject of the documentary ”Star Biz”.
Using Mercedes as a ‘symbol’, the documentary examines
the process of cultural appropriation of Western consumer and luxury
goods in India. It aims to be a critical, amusing and insightful
case study of a car as typical consumer good in the age of globalisation.
Through buying a Mercedes, the customer in India also purchases
a certain lifestyle – a lifestyle differing hugely between
India and Germany, however. Accordingly, the company takes great
care to nurture this image, including attempts to brief Bollywood
producers on appropriate product placement. The film follows Bombay
based script-writer Urmi Juvekar, struggling to find story-lines
about “the car with a star” -- at the same time as diplomatic
negotiations between the DC management and a tycoon of the Hindi
Cinema aim to combine “star-values” from very different
Merle Kroeger is a filmmaker,
writer and curator, based in Berlin. She has been directing and
editing documentaries and video art since 1991. In 2003 she published
her first novel “Cut!”. Merle Kroeger is one of the
curators of Import Export.
Dorothee Wenner is a freelance
journalist, writer and filmmaker based in Berlin. Since 1990, she
has been a member of the selection committee of the International
Forum of New Cinema/Berlinale. Dorothee Wenner is one of the curators
of Import Export.
Respondent (film lecture): Vinzenz Hediger,
film scholar, Ruhr-Universitaet, Bochum