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You partly lived in extremes and need some kind of extremes after NICHTS FĂœR DIE EWIGKEIT BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

ein film von britta wandaogo

81 min.

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My first video camera 1993. Dirk and I sit on the bed filming each other. I say to him: "I’m 27 years old and totally wasted, but first I will get my little brother back up!" Whatever my plan was at this time, from this day on, I started filming reams of situations of us. Our live in between captured on film was protection and remembrance at the same time. Dirk, the exasperating center of our family, that much has been said about. Dirk died, our family broke apart. But Dirk was my family. With him, I associated closeness and a humor that could maybe only be shared by brother and sister. His heroin addiction was a side effect - we both had to live with - always carried by the thought, that he will get out of it somehow. In summer 2010, I began to open boxes with tapes of raw material and clips, which I never looked at before. Everything became alive.

CREDITS written & directed by

brittta wandaogo

edited by

brittta wandaogo

assistant

anika simon corinna giesen

colour correction

ramin khadjaviha

commissioning editor

enno hungerland reinhard wulf

wandaogoproduction


FESTIVALS 35. Duisburger Filmwoche (Germany) Hamburger Dokumentarfilmwoche (Germany) International Woman´s Filmfestival 2012 (Germany) DOCAVIV International Documentary Filmfestival Telaviv (Israel) Internationales Filmfestival Assen ( Netherlands) 1° Festival de Cinema Independente Alemão (Brazil),

AWARDS Audience Award at the International Woman´s Filmfestival 2012 Believe in Miracles the radical personal family history as seen by Britta Wandaogo who over the years filmed various encounters with her drug-addict brother, Dirk. Eligible for the prize was any film over sixty minutes in length and showing at the festival.

DOCAVIV International Documentary Filmfestival 2012

In 1993 director Britta Wandaogo bought her first video camera; from that moment on she began documenting her close relationship with Dirk, her brother. When Dirk became addicted to heroin Britta was by his side, believing it a fleeting episode. As time passed, Dirk was in and out of rehab, and Britta became immersed in an emotional turmoil eroding the distinction between her life and his. From hours of intimate raw footage filmed over a decade, Wandaogo weaves a shocking personal story of infinite brotherly love and the tragic passion for self destruction. With her camera in the thick of the experience, the director offers a perspective that is non-judgmental, compassionate, and full of pain. http://www.docaviv.co.il/en/2012/films/1612


ARTICLE || REVIEW >>

Š Michael Sennhauser, Radio DRS2 A film like a relapse. Or perhaps that's not it? It's rare that watching a film shakes me up so much, and even rarer that I ride on an emotional roller coaster at one of the Duisburger discussions. Is this woman up there on the podium, who just presented us with the life and death of her heroinaddicted brother, comforting herself? Is the film solace? I don't know, what fascinates me more: the calm, clear and direct way Britta Wandaogo deals with the questions about her film, or the thought about what kind of development the woman has behind her, how she managed, not just to survive, but to do it at once inside and outside of the standards of her lower middle class background. At the end of the discussion, I am enraptured, more than before. And once again, I got pulled down a peg in my arrogance: One can obviously feel the world, not just classify it. The film is with words from outside even more difficult to get - than from the inside out, so beforehand Wandaogo's own words: My first video camera 1993. Dirk and I sit on the bed filming each other. I say to him: "I’m 27 years old and totally wasted, but first I will get my little brother back up!" Whatever my plan was at this time, from this day on, I started filming reams of situations of us. Dirk, the exasperating centre of our family, that much has been said about. Dirk died, our family broke apart. But Dirk was my family. With him, I associated closeness and a humor that could maybe only be shared by brother and sister. His heroin addiction was a side effect - we both had to live with - always carried by the thought, he will get out of it somehow. The material that Wandaogo had available were hours and hours of footage that she filmed – always more or less improvised - in the company of her brother. He loaded, or sleeping, waking up, charming, again and again charming, then again totally hopped up, incoherent and desperate. Britta Wandaogo sometimes in the images, filmed by him, classified by him as co-dependant, belittled and loved and used and positioned: material that trembles with excitement. Already the first scene bursts of symbolic power: Dirk drives ahead with the motorbike, somewhere in the South near a jungle, the sister climbs on the back, keeps holding the camera, a racing ride. And finally the bike is stuck in mud up over the hubcaps. Wandaogo becomes a mother, and so Dirk an uncle. The little girl loves the uncle; the no longer so little girl cries because the uncle once again occupies the room at Grandmother's and afterwards it will need to be to be renovated. Believe in Miracles functions as a film like the punk version of Thomas Imbach's Day is Done. The intimacy, the private, the all too personal becomes something that concerns, grabs, shakes and hurts me. Among other reasons, because at some point it no longer helps me to write off the addict as an idiot because it doesn't work any more given his aura, his charm, his idiosyncratic interpretation of life. And this in turn works because the sister reveals it all, with care, with diligence, with a perfected skill and deliberate cinematographic editing. http://sennhausersfilmblog.ch/2011/11/11/duisburg-11-nichts-fuer-die-ewigkeit-von-britta-wandaogo


My brother Dirk, the drug death ...... with our first recommendation, we will, however, go ahead a few days. The film is just too good. A love film. There is just no other way of calling Britta Wandaogoʼs film, „Believe in Miracles“. For twelve years, she filmed while her brother was on drugs, while he was clean - and started all over again. Only seemigly an up and down because its actually clear: Itʼs always going downhill with Dirk. Yet Wandaogoʼs collage, from her first hesitant camera tests, which the future film director shot in the beginning of the nineties, up to her challenging professional takes in 2005, the last year of her brotherʼs life, doesnʼt tell us the story of a descent. Rather, it transmits the closeness and energy between the siblings to the audience, which provides an irresistible pull into the life of the two. One is for a short time by their side. With Britta, when she marries and has a child. And with Dirk, how he tries with all possible means to calm his greed for life and finds none that brings him peace. At the end, one steps with Wandaogoʼs camera through Dirkʼs abandoned apartment, through a door, behind which a bloody-stained bathroom opens – and one feels an immediate loss. And so the film does leave us with an open and in its own way consoling question: Is a life truly wasted if it is lived as intensely as Dirk did? spiegel online | © Hannah Pilarczyk http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/tv/dokumentarfilme-auf-3sat-mit-thomas-heise-heidi-specogna-a-864926.html

Critical authenticity

... confronted with the disconcerting authenticity of Britta Wandaogoʼs „Believe in Miracles“, essentially a private movie made public, for which the filmmaker accompanied her addicted brother Dirk over many years. Nowhere is the precarious observer position more explicit as in a scene in which the „protagonist“ must witness how his sister vomits while she is filming - he says she wouldnʼt even realise, but maybe the filmmaker just didnʼt want to forgo this take for anything.

What plunges Britta Wandaogo into the crisis is the idea of a sober counterpart in documentary cinema. She is involved, is sometimes herself „high “, the margin of safety is slight. And the line to cross is constantly drawn by the protagonist Dirk, himself. In the end, that is what ultimately makes the one critical difference in documentary cinema: it is about life and death.

taz.de | © Bert Rebhandl


DOCAVIV ISRAEL In 1993 director Britta Wandaogo bought her first video camera; from that moment on she began documenting her close relationship with Dirk, her brother. When Dirk became addicted to heroin Britta was by his side, believing it a fleeting episode. As time passed, Dirk was in and out of rehab, and Britta became immersed in an emotional turmoil eroding the distinction between her life and his. From hours of intimate raw footage filmed over a decade, Wandaogo weaves a shocking personal story of infinite brotherly love and the tragic passion for self destruction. With her camera in the thick of the experience, the director offers a perspective that is non-judgmental, compassionate, and full of pain.

Britta Wandaogo // Biography
 Born 1965 in Unna, Germany, the documentary filmmaker - Britta Wandaogo is a qualified communication designer. She first studied at the Bergisch University of Wuppertal from 1986 to 1992. Her debut documentary film Den Affen töten (approx. "Kill the Cold Turkey") was made in 1994, her brother is subject too. In 1998, she obtained a further degree in documentary film from the faculty of audio-visual media at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts. The year 2000 saw her start up her own film company: wandaogo productions. In 2003, she was a founder member of the documentary film network known as LaDoc. Her award-winning film work is complemented by music videos, installations and audio-visual contributions to various exhibitions. Following teaching assignments in the departments of design and documentary film at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Britta Wandaogo was appointed Professor of Audio-Visual Media there in 2010.

Films by Britta Wandaogo (Selection) 
Ohne mein viertes Kind 2009 | Halbschwarz geht nicht 2009 | 1200 brutto 2007 | Die Krokodile der Familie Wandaogo 2003 | Liebe Weiss Schwarz 2003 | Liebe Schwarz Weiss 2001 | Bifou Biga 1998 | Une Image dʼAmbition 1997 | Eigentlich gehtʼs ja um nichts 1996 | With a Big Monster 1995 | Den Affen töten 1994 http://www.docaviv.co.il/en/2012/films/1612

www.wandaogo.jux.com www.wandaogo.de www.facebook.com/salvedirk

CONTACT britta@dokumentarisch.de

Believe in miracles  

wandaogo.de wandaogo.jux.de

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