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Sonne Unter Tage

Sun under Ground
Still from the film "Sun Under Ground" by Mareike Bernien and Alex Gerbaulet. A hand holds a fluorescent stone illuminated by black light.
© Mareike Bernien, Alex Gerbaulet
  • Director

    Alex Gerbaulet, Mareike Bernien

  • Germany / 2021
    39 min.

  • Original language

    German

A the village edge runs a gravel path, through fields and up to the fence, charted on the map of former uranium mining sites in Saxony and Thuringia. From 1946 to 1990 the Soviet corporation SAG Wismut mined uranium there for the USSR’s atomic weapons program. Above, socialism radiates into the future, below, an ancient rock radiates out of the torn up earth. The GDR environmental movement shines a light on the path. Night. Darkness. A group of people, a flashlight, a strip of x-ray film is buried in the gravel. The ground exposes the film, leaving behind a trace of its invisible rays. The film SONNE UNTER TAGE follows this trace horizontally through the landscapes of today, marked by dismantling and restructuring, and vertically through the ground as an archive. Deep boreholes through space and time track the sedimented narratives surrounding the element uranium, materially, metaphorically, and geopolitically. How does it haunt the landscape? How is it linked to the ghost of socialism? What biographies rearrange and beleaguer the sites of its excavation? How does it continue to radiate in the media that record it? How can the spectrum of the visible be shifted in order to bring its invisible rays into the image, to make it possible to hear them or feel them?

Alex Gerbaulet lives in Berlin and works as an artist, filmmaker, and producer. Since 2014 she has been part of the production platform pong film, and from 2020 to 2021 was a grant recipient at the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme/gkfd. Her artistic work examines how reality and memory can be represented visually. Her films move between video art, essay films, and documentaries, between activist impulses and fictionalized reflection. Her recent films include:  DIE SCHLÄFERIN (2018), as well as TIEFENSCHÄRFE (2017) and SONNE UNTER TAGE  (2022), the latter two made with Mareike Bernien.

Mareike Bernien lives in Berlin and works as an artist, filmmaker, and teacher in the area of film research and critical archive practice. She is part of the production platform pong film, and from 2020 to 2021 was a grant recipient at the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme/gkfd. Her works take a media-archeological approach, looking into the ideological certainties of representation, their material-technological requirements, and historical continuities. Her recent films include: TIEFENSCHÄRFE (2017) and  SONNE UNTER TAGE  (2022), both made with Alex Gerbaulet.

Production Caroline Kirberg. Production company Caroline Kirberg (Berlin, Germany). Written and directed by Alex Gerbaulet, Mareike Bernien. Cinematography Jenny Lou Ziegel. Editing Alex Gerbaulet, Mareike Bernien. Sound Tom Schön. Production manager Ayla Güney. With Aline Benecke, Ayla Güney, Mirko Winkel, Alex Gerbaulet, Mareike Bernien. 

Films

Alex Gerbaulet: 2015: Schicht / Shift (29 min.). 2017: Tiefenschärfe / Depht of Field (with Mareike Bernien, 15 min.). 2018: Die Schläferin (with Mirko Winkel, Timm Schramm, 17 min.). 2022: Sonne Unter Tage / Sun Under Ground.

Mareike Bernien: 2012: Red, She Said (with Kerstin Schroedinger, 13 min.). 2014: Rainbow’s Gravity (with Kerstin Schroedinger, 13 min., Forum Expanded 2014). 2017: Tiefenschärfe (with Alex Gerbaulet, 15 min.). 2022: Sonne Unter Tage / Sun Under Ground.

Bonus Material

  • Still from the film "Sun Under Ground" by Mareike Bernien and Alex Gerbaulet. Fluorescent stones illuminated by black light

    Film Excerpts

    Three short clips offer a first impression of the film

Program Schedule

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
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