The Reichstag in Berlin, the most influential building in Germany, is the subject of this short stylised documentary. But more than the building, the immigrant cleaners working there day after day are the protagonists. As in a genuine ballet, they move around the majestic, rigidly designed building with their yellow garbage carts, floor sweepers and squeegees. In the voice-over, the cleaners contemplate their job and the significance of the building. As one man enthusiastically scrubs a text engraved in the floor, he explains that some letters are harder to clean than others. And what the text in fact means, he wouldn’t know. His colleague tells us that the Christian Democratic Party is housed on the fifth floor and the Social Democrats are on the fourth, but to him there is no real difference. He probably wouldn’t vote, even if he were allowed to.
Jan Zabeil was born in 1981 in Berlin. He started working as a Best Boy in 2001 and in 2003 enrolled to study Cinematography at the Academy of Film and Television ‘Konrad Wolf ’ in Potsdam. His films as a director and cinematographer include: ‘Your Delta Experience’ (2000), ‘Finnen Finden’ (2002), ‘Was weiss der Tropfen’ (2007), ‘Die Narbe’ (2007), and ‘L.H.O.’ (2007).
Was weiß der Tropfen davon
2007, 12', color, video
HFF Konrad Wolf Potsdam
Festivals & Awards:
Achtung Berlin Festival - Best short documentary