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There are films that change your life or that influence the course of history or world affairs. Der Tag des Spatzen 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.
Dorothee Wenner

Production: Pong, Berlin

Coproduction: Blinker Filmproduktion, Cologne; Worklights Media Production, Werkleitz; ZDF, Mainz,
in cooperation with ARTE

Screenplay: Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner

Camera: Bernd Meiners

Format: 35mm (filmed on HD), color

Running time: 100 min.

Languages: German, English, Dutch

Photo: Bernd Meiners

Funded by:

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