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.
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