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Lonely Oaks: Berlinale 2023

The haunting documentary "Lonely Oaks" enriches the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section at this year's Berlinale.

Screening times

Feb. 18, 10 p.m., Kino International

Feb. 19, 4:30 p.m., Zoo Palast 3-5

Feb. 20, 10 a.m., Cubix am Alexanderplatz

Feb. 20, 9:30 p.m., Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Feb. 24, 3 p.m., Kino im Zeiss-Gropßlanetarium

Autumn 2018: during the evacuation of Hambacher Forst, film student Steffen Meyn suffered a fatal accident. Based on footage he collected over two years, we follow Steffen up close as he makes his way through the forest. With him, we get to know the activists and gain never-before-seen insights into their lives and philosophies. Behind all this are the questions: What drives these people? Why are they willing to endanger their lives for activism?




The death of Steffen Meyn in the Hambach Forest was in the news in the fall of 2018. Previously, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia attempted to clear the forest occupied by activists - with a police operation that courts later declared illegal. In the process, a tragic accident occurred. The film student Steffen Meyn, who was documenting the eviction on film from one of the tree houses, fell into the depths and died on the spot. "Lonely Oaks" consists largely of the footage Steffen shot over two years in the Hambach Forest. With the help of his 360° camera, we accompany him through the tree houses and are up close to the evacuation attempts of the police. Through Steffen's kind and open manner, we get to know activists who are willing to oppose the deforestation with their bodies. It becomes clear: Steffen is fascinated with the utopian community, but also struggles to find a stand towards the radical measures of the occupation.

Through the extraordinary footage and interviews with activists who have accompanied Steffen over the last two years of his life, the documentary creates never-before-seen insights into the activist community - and at the same time dares to admit contradictions, doubts and questions: Why do activists go so far? Why do people endanger their bodies and lives for political purposes? And where does utopia meet painful reality?

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