Der Fluss War Einst Ein Mensch

The River Used to Be a Man

Jan Zabeil’s highly original and atmospheric debut feature is an otherworldly survival tale exploring divergent European and African sensibilities. A young German travels through a country in Africa. Near a river he meets an old fisherman who takes him deep into the wilderness in his wooden boat. The next morning he finds himself alone in the middle of an endless delta. Here his intimate battle with death, his fears and perceptions of the outside world begins. After days of drifting through the wilderness, he arrives in a very isolated village, far away from civilization. But his odyssey is not over yet. His continuous loss of control leads him further into a world far beyond his own comprehension.

Director's Biography
JAN zabeil, born 1981 in Berlin, Germany. Studied cinematography at the Film and Television University (HFF) „Konrad Wolf“ in Potsdam from 2003 to 2009 and works as director and cinematographer. His works were shown at international film festivals and won numerous awards. The river used to be a man was part of his final project at the HFF Potsdam and recieved the New Directors Award at the International Film Festival in San Sebastian 2011. // Films (Selected): WAS WEISS DER TROPFEN DAVON (2007, doc), L.H.O. (2007, short), HÖR ICH AUF GETREU ZU SEIN (2010, doc), DER FLUSS WAR EINST EIN MENSCH (The River Used to Be a Man, 2011)
Competition Fiction 2012
Jan Zabeil
Germany 2011
80 minutes
OV with German subtitles
Screenplay Jan Zabeil, Alexander Fehling
Cinematography Jakub Bejnarowicz
Editing Florian Miosge
Sound/Sounddesign Anton Feist, Magnus Pflüger
With Alexander Fehling, Sariqo Sakega, Obusentswe Dreamar Manyima, Babotsa Sax‘twee, Nx‘apa Motswai
Rohfilm Berlin GmbH Schwedenstraße 14 13357 Berlin Germany T +49 30 499 19 888 0 F +49 30 499 19 888 9