"Die Zivilisationsbringer" (Los civilisadores)
- Uli Stelzner/Thomas Walther
- Duration 90 minutes
- Solidarity pricing system, freely selectable from €3,00
Video stream / Documentary film, Germany 1997 / with artist talk
Actually, the premiere of the biographical documentary theatre "Coffee with Sugar?" by Laia RiCa was supposed to take place on May 6. It is postponed due to the corona-related lockdown. Instead, we will show the video stream of a documentary film that plays an important role in the production. In the subsequent audience discussion on Zoom, there will be an opportunity to exchange views on the topic with director Uli Stelzner and artist Laia RiCa.
About the film
The success of the German community in Guatemala began 150 years ago with the cultivation of coffee, the possession of the most fertile lands and the monopoly on trade. The film shows how old coffee barons lead tours through their plantations and salons. How family chronicles stretch through the century and history emerges from their stories. And even today, the companies profit from the pioneering spirit of their ancestors; the German virtues still promise success. But this is devoid of content and only describes the extent of the destruction, for the gaze has moved on.
The people in the background silently tell their story. Since the conquest, the indigenous people have been massacred, their land has been stolen and exploited, and democracy has degraded them to strangers in their own country. Two models of life become the real subject of the film. And questions about power, identity, civilisation.
"Coffee with sugar?"
In the performance, the two materials coffee and sugar in their most different aggregate states determine the stage. Starting from them, the German immigration history in Central America and its colonial continuities are negotiated. Coffee beans and candyfloss, biographical material and historical sources, live music and excerpts from the documentary "Die Zivilisationsbringer" (Los civilisadores) are used to create a visually powerful, dense and sensual production (see Schaubude blog).