The red line
Widerstand im Hambacher Forst

A cinema documentary by Karin de Miguel-Wessendorf
In co-production with WDR | Supported by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

„Ein Film zwischen Ohnmacht und Hoffnung“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

"One of the most important political documentaries in a long time" (Tip Berlin).

"In THE RED LINE - RESISTANCE IN HAMBACH FOREST we experience how citizens mobilize against misguided policies. Moving moments, remarkable courage and a new old protest culture." (DOK.fest Munich)

"With unsparing intensity, this sensitive chronicle of the events in the Rhenish lignite mining area demonstrates the madness of misguided environmental and energy policies of past decades. A cinematic memorial that shakes up, saddens and enrages, and at the same time sets a sign of hope for peaceful civil disobedience."

Review by Hendrik Heisterberg from the current GALORRE Magazine, 06/19
Editor WDR: Jutta Krug

When 31,000 policemen take action against 50 tree squatters and tear gas and truncheons are used, a 550-hectare "pedunculate oak-hornbeam-lily-of-the-valley-forest" becomes a symbol of resistance. Since 2015, director Karin de Miguel Wessendorf has accompanied the protests against the clearing of the Hambach forest and against the destruction of the villages on the edge of the lignite opencast mining, the largest CO2 source in Europe. First it was only a rebellion of individual groups with different goals, but in the autumn of 2018 the protest against the clearing finally becomes one broad supraregional movement.

Karin de Miguel Wessendorf follows the development of her protagonists, tree squatter Clumsy, Antje Grothus, resident of Buir and member of a citizens' initiative, Lars Zimmer, who does not want to leave his village, and nature guide and forest pedagogue Michael Zobel. They are ordinary people who, over the years, outstrip themselves but also suffer setbacks in order to fight for their goals: the preservation of the Hambach forest, the villages and the withdrawal from lignite, in order to reach the Paris climate targets. As a spectator we get the opportunity to accompany these people during the film.

THE RED LINE watches, accompanies and interferes. The film documents the emergence of a civic movement and also makes a contribution to the current discussion about a sustainable energy policy.


Additional information:

Buch und Regie: Karin de Miguel Wessendorf
Dramaturg: Sebastian Stobbe
Produzent: Valentin Thurn
Redaktion: WDR Jutta Krug
Kamera: Frank Kranstedt, Gerardo Milsztein, Dieter Stürmer
Ton: Ralf Weber, Ralf Gromann
Flugaufnahmen: Michael Goergens
Schnitt: Kawe Vakil
Sounddesign: Peter Aufderhaar
Musik: Fabian Berghofer
Herstellungsleitung: Laura-Johanne Zimmermann
Produktionsleitung: Muriel Breier, Corinna C. Poetter
Produktion: ThurnFilm
in Zusammenarbeit mit: dem Westdeutschen Rundfunk WDR
Mit Unterstützung der: Film- und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Kinoverleih: mindjazz pictures
Protagonist*nnen: Michael Zobel, Antje Grothus, Clumsy, Lars Zimmer


Nationwide theatrical release: May 23, 2019
World premiere: DOK.fest Munich, May 12, 2019, 21.00
Premiere celebration: Weißhaus-Kino in Cologne, May 21, 2019, 7.00 pm
More Special events.

Additional information:
Production year: 2019
Length: 115 min.
TV first broadcast: September 25, 2019, 22.55 clock, WDR (90 min TV version).


December 16, 2019, 20.15, Tagesschau 24
January 24, 2020, 00:00, HR
April 25, 2020, 21.45, Phoenix
April 26, 2020,18.30, Phoenix
April 27, 2020, 04.30, Phoenix.

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