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A frustration in the stubborn binary of handicapped and non-handicapped was the starting point for THE HUMANITARIANS. As much as it is futile to project the characteristics of a computer code onto a society, the same society is obsessed with a dedication to hierarchical categories. Another point of interest was the question of self-determination applied to the field of sexuality. Inspired by events in the life of my sister and based on my own experiences, the narration became a mosaic of real events within the social spaces of handicapped people. The process of writing was shaped by the biographies of Sven Normann and Joachim Neumann which have given the film its current shape. Consequently, their stories are not supposed to contrast or complement each other. The two parts should rather reflect different conceptions of reality and utopia.

A paradox I had to deal with in making this project was the question of how to make a film about paternalism and at the same time not to make a film about ‚the others’. The form should therefore not act in accordance with any sort of classification, but to free the film from any such system. I wanted an audio-visual experience that goes beyond the mode of a deficit-view, a film that employs the tools of the documentary as well as mise-en-Scène and animation - people in wheelchairs who are not bound by incapacity but rather enabled.

The film’s refusal of a clear cinematic category reflects my ethos in making it: there are people, there is cinema. There is no necessity for more classification.

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