Sweep It Up, Swig It Down
Kehrein, Kehraus

GERMANY / 1997 / German / Color, B&W / 35mm (1: 1.66) / 70 min

Director: Gerd Kroske
Script: Gerd Kroske, Manuela Martinson
Photography: Dieter Chill
Editing: Karin Gerda Schöning
Music: Todenhöfer
Sound: Uve Haußig
Production Company, Source: realistfilm Gerd Kroske
(in cooperation with ZDF / 3sat)
Börnestr.1, D-13086 Berlin, GERMANY
Phone: 49-30-9278213 / Fax: 49-30-9258701
E-mail: kroske@t-online.de

Gerd Kroske

Born in Dessau (former GDR) in 1958. After an apprenticeship in construction, he began his film career as a screenwriter for DEFA Documentary Studio in Berlin in 1987. Has produced his own documentaries since 1989. Several of his films have received awards at festivals including Leipzig Autumn (1989) which won the International Jury Award at the Leipzig International Documentary Festival 1989; Sweeping (1990) which took the same award in 1990. Terminus Brest (1993/94) received the Grand Prix at Cinéma du réel, Paris in 1995, and Galera (1996/97) won the Grand Prix for documentary at the 4th Alternative International Festival of Independent Cinema, Barcelona in 1997. Other films include Clever Women-Bright Girls (1991), and Short Circuit (1993).

This 1997 picture picks up the lives of Gabi, Stefan and Henry, three street sweepers in Leipzig, after their appearances in director Kroske's Sweeping (1990). In the opening the three appear with what seems to be a portrait of themselves during the filming of the previous film. The earlier monochrome piece is subsequently projected onto the screen of an empty theater. There the three move more deftly than today as they diligently clean the streets. Now they have already reached old age and have quit street sweeping, yet their lives are still not secure.
While interspersing scenes of street sweeping and construction work in present-day, mechanized Leipzig, Kroske presents the severe city lives of each of his troubled protagonists. It is hard to gaze upon their gloomy expressions, but the effectively controlled camera neither overlooks them nor forces sympathy upon the viewer. This is a work of strange charm. [Sato Shin]

Director's Statement
In my documentaries I am interested in people and their personal stories. People who are not living on the sunny side of life, those who are lost in our high-speed media TV-commercialization. The conflicts in people's lives let me experience how others handle their piece of life as well as to describe a certain feeling of life far from the elegant gossip and thought of the spirit of the age. Filmic narrative about the everyday effort in these giddy-paced high-risk times.

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee