March 2010

The Day of the Sparrow

by Philip Scheffner

There are films that change your life or that influence the course of history or world affairs. The Day of the Sparrow is one such film, the only difference being that it takes the opposite approach in order to achieve this. In his new film, Philip Scheffner, a passionate birdwatcher in his spare time, creates an audacious homage to a particular sparrow which managed to attain international fame in this decisive role. Scheffner sets out on a fantastic search for clues with the meticulousness of a detective, which takes him from the murder of the sparrow by a Dutch media concern to a nearly forgotten holiday resort on the Baltic Sea. His search finally takes him to the fences of various forbidden zones in the provinces and suburbs of both East and West Germany.

Led by a camera that is precise to the point of obsession and a soundtrack that is almost overly attentive, this cinematic investigation eventually turns into a contemporary political thriller. It’s absolutely astounding, expect perhaps for particular birdwatchers and pilots, who have long since noticed the similarities between the gentle landscapes by the river Mosel and Afghani battlefields. It was therefore probably no coincidence that the sparrow’s heroic death took place on the same day that the 18th German soldier died in Afghanistan.

THE DAY OF THE SPARROW won the Klaus Wildenhahn Prize at the 7th Hamburg Documentary Film Week!

Country / year: Germany 2010, Running time: 100 min, Image format: HDCam transferred to 35 mm (German and English copy), Sound format: Dolby Digital, World Premiere: 60th Berlin International Film Festival, 40th International Forum of New Cinema, Platform release: 22.04.2010

Script: Merle Kröger, Philip Schefffner, Director: Philip Scheffner, Cinematographer: Bernd Meiners, 2nd cameraman/HDV: Philip Scheffner, Sound: Pascal Capitolin, Volker Zeigermann, Editing: Philip Scheffner, Head of production: Marcie Jost, Producer: Merle Kröger, Co-producers: Meike Martens, Marcie Jost, Peter Zorn, Editor for ZDF/ ARTE: Doris Hepp

Suitable for viewers of all ages.
Posters, flyers and 35mm trailers are available for the film.

The distribution of the film was funded by Medienboard.