GERMANY, SWITZERLAND / 2007 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1:1.85) / 94 min
Director, Script: Hartmut Bitomsky
Photography: Kolja Raschke
Sound: Gerd Metz
Editing: Theo Bromin
Co-Producers: Werner Schweizer, Hartmut Bitomsky
Producer: Heino Deckert
World Sales: Deckert Distribution www.deckert-distribution.com
Dust collecting in projectors and rooms, tiny grains swirling around a mine, fine particles of pigment produced in a factory, dirt accumulating around trees and shrubs to be washed away by the rain; fierce storms of debris from exploding missiles and from the disintegration of the World Trade Center on 9/11; and cosmic star dust . . . This film observes the varieties of dust suffusing the world, interspersing the thoughts of scientists and technical experts.
[Director’s Statement] A speck of dust is just about perceptible to the naked eye. It’s the smallest visible subject a film can be about—it’s a medium of disappearance and a criterion of perception. Wherever we go, it has already beaten us there; wherever we turn, it follows us. It is our past, our present, and our future. It is universal and has a name in every language. It keeps housewives busy, as well as scientists, inventors, artists, and entire industrial branches. It is blamed for feeding vermin and causing illness. It takes ownership of our possessions, it penetrates laboratories, it creates planets and galaxies. We’re surrounded by it, it gets inside us, we shed it . . . It nestles right into the despair of its own existence.
Born in 1942, Bitomsky is a writer, film director, and producer. He received his education at the Free University of Berlin and at the Berlin Film Academy. From 1973 he was co-publisher and co-editor of the renowned German magazine Filmkritik for more than ten years. He has written extensively on film theory and film history. In 1975 he founded the film production company Big Sky Film. He has directed and produced more than 40 films, mostly documentary, and his work has been shown at festivals throughout the world. Among his awards is the 1987 Grimme Award in Gold for Reichsautobahn. After 1975 he taught at the film school in Munich, the Free University of Berlin, and the Berlin Film Academy. From 1993 to 2002, he was film program dean at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Since 2006, Bitomsky has been director of the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb). His feature-length documentary, B-52—shot in the USA, Germany, and Vietnam—premiered at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival, had theatrical distribution in Germany and Japan, and traveled to many international festivals and screenings. His work was honored in 2000 with a retrospective at the Vienna International Film Festival. He served as an International Competition juror at YIDFF 2001.