Educational short film Frisian Midsummer

Idea and motivation

The Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine environment of Oldenburg University has started an international Masters course for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. According to the Institute's research interests, the education was organized with the emphasis on a diversity of disciplines in natural and environmental science. For completion, there was a specific need of an interdisciplinary visual synopsis of global change as is manifest in environment, society and economy; further of a commonly communicable illustrative integration of the findings of modern maritime and terrestrial environmental research; see e.g. Lozan, Rachor, Reise, Sündermann, v.Westernhagen (Eds.) "Warnsignale aus Nordsee und Wattenmeer", Hamburg 2003.

Subject: Structural change North-West

Der Film visualizes the change of our time to landscape, culture and economy, as well as the complexity of the modern coastal conflict: growth of the material supply infrastructure; increase in population density, production and standards of life; intensification and diversification of all uses of landscape, sea and coasts; hardening of the coastal structures and depletion of ecological functions; uncertainty of the potential to future growth; and hope for a better future. In contrast to political or commercial media productions, it is essential for academic educational film to balance the representations of all conflicting parts. In particular, industry and the transport system may be seen by ecologists and nature conservationists as direct threat to life in the most general sense. However as clearly as that, modern sociey's inescapable existential dependence on the technical-material infrastructure and on economic growth must be seen and understood. And as clearly, fascination for technology and inspiration through the sheer power of the apparatus play their role in civilized-human psychology.

Medial interpretation

The grand dilemma of our time can be publicly transmitted only in three ways: through beauty, humour, and freedom. We have tried to combine these three things. Firstly, Nature and (Industry) Architecture both have their own very specific aesthetics, in color, structures and fractality. Typical for our region are the vast expanses of landscape, skies and structures, and the apparent slowliness of motions far remote. Secondly, the Frisian, or rather North-West European, culture has brought forth in recent decades a certain genre of laconic grotesque (type Monty Python or Mr.Bean; in the German part of Greater Friesland, Otto Waalkes or Torfrock). We have tried to let rise into perception an almost sub-sensible breeze of that spirit. Thirdly, there is no need and no gain in reproducing in a short film the entire complicated debate on regional development. The arguments are known. To mention them means quarrel. We restricted therefore our work to a wordless associative documentation where the images pass on like in a dream. The film was shown on diverse university seminars; the subsequent discussions did regularly well reproduce the full spectrum of publicly available opinions.


The circumstances of film production at universities are characterized by giftedness, spirit of freedom, and poverty. The film is in many aspects a debut for everyone involved, a laymen's work in autodidactic artistic direction, with borrowed, in part also aged equipment and amateur technique. We had the almost impossible, faraway goal of integration in the coastal conflict, but no script, no plan, no clue. Ideas and shapes evolved through work, like each imagination in a dream bears in it a further, next imagination. We started at Zero and learned filming with this film, thus we can claim to have created an educational film in a double sense. We feel thankful for inspired generous (though mostly non-financial) support from many people, institutions, and commercial enterprises. A professional remake is conceivable in principle.


Third place at the Media Workshop of the 35th annual meeting of the German Union for Media and Technology in Education (mtb-ev), Wien 2004; there also Special Award for the Most Peculiar Film.

Creation and Change

Jörn Anders
Stanislaus Müller-Härlin
Eva Müller
Wiebke Tobias
Dr. Kurt Georg Hooss

May 2003 - June 2004