A group of German builders encamp outside a summery Bulgarian border village. They drive their machines around, hew some stone and saw some tree trunks whilst exploring their surroundings and encountering villagers. Is the atmosphere hostile or exploratory? The language barrier makes this hard for both sides to determine. Stereotypes, listlessness and testosterone complicate the adventure abroad. While the Germans view the Bulgarians as underdeveloped, they might not be that civilised themselves.
This contemporary, documentary-style, European Western with builders as the cowboys and Bulgarians as the natives plays subtly with the Western genre and multicultural identities in Europe. As usual, Valeska Grisebach worked with amateur actors: the Germans are actual builders and the Bulgarians mostly come from the village where the shoot took place.
As part of Critics’ Choice, the screening of Tue 30 Jan, 18:15 will be preceded by a video essay by Jessie McGoff.