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17 min. German.

Two newspaper articles, ten years apart, two different women, the same wording. In 2001 the “Göttinger Zeitung” wrote that Margit (69) had lived a secluded life as an inconspicuous woman. In 2011 the “Hamburger Abendblatt” stated that Irina (65) had lived in seclusion, a non-descript woman. Up to the moment of their appearance in these newspaper lines, both women were invisible, forcefully concealed by their roles as wives and homemakers. Only for a brief moment did they claim visibility. Through acts of violence.
The short film The Sleeper reconstructs and imagines the stories of these two women who were extrinsically determined throughout their lives, struggling to express themselves in vain until the only way for them to end the spiral of every-day violence was to resort to violence themselves. The cinematic narrative, too, oscillates between documentation and fiction. Everyday scenes, translated into animated still lives in the film, suggest that something is about to happen or just took place. The character of the homemaker seems omnipresent though she never appears on the scene, just as the actual protagonists Margit and Irina remain invisible.

Alex Gerbaulet, born in 1977, lives in Berlin where she works as an artist, filmmaker, and curator. She studied philosophy, media, and liberal arts (with Birgit Hein) in Braunschweig and Vienna. She has received numerous grants, her works have been exhibited internationally, and her films has been shown at a variety of festivals in Germany and abroad. In addition she works as a lecturer and as an independent curator for art institutions and festivals. Since 2014 she has worked as a writer and producer with pong film in Berlin. In her artistic work she uses both documentary and fictionalized approaches to examine the representability of reality and memory. She had realized numerous video-art projects.

Production Alex Gerbaulet, Caroline Kirberg. Production company pong Film GmbH (Berlin, Germany). Written and directed by Alex Gerbaulet. Director of photography Jenny Lou Ziegel. Editing Phillip Scheffner. Sound design Simon Bastian. Sound Tom Schön. Assistant director Ines Meier. Art director Tessa Kate Lee, Tom Schön. Co-director Mirko Winkel, Tim Schramm. With Alex Gerbaulet, Susanne Sachsse, Sibylle Dordel.


2015: SCHICHT / SHIFT (29 min.). 2017: Tiefenschärfe / Depht of Field (13 min.). 2018: Die Schläferin / The Sleeper.

Photo: © Alex Gerbaulet

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur