Funkenflug – Chronicles of a Catastrophe


Stephanie Kiewel | Germany, United Kingdom | 2015 | 26 m

It’s the 19th September 1865, a sunny day in autumn. St. Georgen, a rural town in the heart of the Black Forest in Germany is typically busy at this time of year with the harvest ahead. Anna, a mother of three, leaves the house early to work another day on the fields. She leaves her youngest son Ludwig with her maid Barbara. The girl however has other plans and sneaks away to meet her secret lover, leaving the boy behind. Behind the house, Anna’s oldest son and troublemaker Wilhelm presents his younger brother Mathias with a matchbox. They start a fight and a burning match falls down to the ground into a pile of kindling. The dry wood catches fire instantly. The two troublemakers escape and leave Ludwig behind. Georg Fünkner, the local teacher who spent the morning teaching the girl class, dismisses his students and prepares some office work when he suddenly notices dark smoke rising behind the church tower. Outside the village on the fields Anna discovers the smoke and rushes back to the village where she is welcomed by utter panic. People are rushing around screaming, trying to save their belongings and find their loved ones. The fire brigade tries to extinguish the increasing inferno without success. Anna finds her two oldest sons well, however she has to learn that her youngest son Ludwig is still missing. Based on original recordings, Funkenflug serves as an outstanding example of solidarity with a town facing its biggest catastrophe in history and citizens regaining strength and courage to rebuild the town to the important centre of the Black Forest in Germany it is today.