Fortschritt im Tal der Ahnungslosen

Fortschritt im Tal der AhnungslosenProgress in the Valley of the People Who Don’t Know

Filmforum, Germany 2019, 67 Min., ger., arab. OV, ger., engl. UT

Saxony's “Valley of the Clueless” was located too far to the east to receive Western broadcasting. It was also the site of the largest agricultural machinery manufacturer in East Germany, the state-owned factory “Fortschritt” (“Progress”). Thirty years after the fall of the Wall, the factory is in ruins. Syrian asylum seekers now live where combine harvesters were once manufactured, and former factory workers assist them with their orientation courses. What begins with a humorously staged German class amidst the “Fortschritt” ruins ends with lessons in civics, a singing choir, and re-enactments in an old military camp. Archive material testifies to the socialist camaraderie between East Germany and Syria, where “Fortschritt” machinery was once also delivered. A cinematic work of reminiscence, shifting between the melancholic and absurd, that tells of a shared loss of home.

Director Florian Kunert

Screenplay Florian Kunert

Producer Stefan Gieren

Production Company The StoryBayfilm and interactive media, Mail:, Web:

Cast Majed Alsaid, Mohammad Hamdan, Hasan Jamjoon, Salem Alkadro, Abdul Rahman, Basil Al Hasso, Hagen Renger



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