Bau Kläranlage (LFS 01421 4)

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Verschiedene Baumaßnahmen in Philippsburg


Bau der Kläranlage, Bau der Wasserleitung zur Rheinschanzinsel, Altrheinsiedlung, Straßenbau, Mittagspause bei Rodi & Wienenberger, Esso Tankstelle Steidinger, Umbau Bahnübergang zum Friedhof.


Reference / film number :  LFS 01421 4
Date :  1963
Coloration :  Color
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:03:17
Reel format :  8 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Identity, Traditions, Rural life
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The first shot of the film brings a familiar contrast into the picture. The circulated earth fillings for the sewage treatment plant are gray against the natural landscape in the background, the meadow and the bare trees. Even with a wastewater treatment plant, technology advances a little further into the natural environment, the landscape has to make room for progress and necessity. This problem is also reflected in the construction work in Philippsburg in 1963 - at a time when technical progress was still largely unquestioned.

The camera slowly pans over the construction site of the sewage treatment plant; the geometric shapes that can already be seen make it possible to identify later plant parts such as the clarification tanks. The amateur filmmaker observes from a distance, he seems to see himself as a chronicler of the construction activity that took place at that time. And the film is already at the next construction site, the construction of the water pipe to the Rheinschanzinsel. An excavator stands with pipe parts in the green, in the background some residential houses. The camera also remains at a distance in the following: During the earthworks, nature is still in the picture, a green stripe meadow at the top and flowering branches in the foreground. The excavator digging the canal and the two workers who appear in between are once again in the middle of the green - construction work becomes visible on the boundary between nature and culture.

The next construction site is the old Rhine settlement, which was built by the housing association “Neue Heimat” in the 1960s. In 1960 Philippsburg had become a garrison town, and a large number of the Bundeswehr members moved into the town with their families - new living space was not only created near the old Rhine. The shots in the long shot are limited to the documentation. The street is still unpaved, and the women with the bikes come from single-family houses, all of which are built according to the same architectural pattern.

From the outskirts to the city center: In this case, road construction work on Udenheimer Strasse continues the chronicle of the construction work. Two shots of workers advising each other approach closely before the long shot follows - a street, torn open and sinking into the dirt. The amateur filmmaker is proving himself more and more as the hard-working chronicler who records what has been and passes it on to posterity. The moving images of the film let the materiality of the visible emerge, especially when building: when the two red trucks move slowly over the rubble of the street; or if you then cut to another road construction site, work on a new sidewalk, where workers and pedestrians give a "picture" of everyday life in front of the St. Francis kindergarten.

Everyday movements are also what draw attention in the next part of the film - without any construction activity coming into view. It is women who come back to the company from the lunch break along the Weißen-Tor-Straße - Rodi and Wienenburger, a company for refined metalwork. The camera pans with the women, lets them disappear into the front gate and, after a cut, focuses on those who hurry back from the other side. They are everyday pictures that document everyday life as such in its inconspicuous processes - just like the following sequence at the Esso petrol station in Söternstraße. At first, only the Esso sign can be seen on the edge of the picture when military trucks drive towards the camera. A cut to the petrol station turns into a swivel: a car turns towards the petrol station - an everyday process that is otherwise not noticed.

After looking into the depth of the street, the picture in the next part first moves into the area. A military jeep is waved by a worker over the barrier at the level crossing to the cemetery. Once again, the film comes back to its topic, construction in Philippsburg. A truck, alongside workers who distribute material on the ground - the construction site at the level crossing can only be seen briefly before a locomotive occupies the picture. With a swivel she scurries past the workers at the level crossing. The construction work disappears in a picture of movement - in an everyday picture that you know, that is only perceptible in its fleetingness in the film.

Reiner Bader

Places and monuments


  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.