Fischerfest (LFS 01422 2)

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Fest of the Fishers in Philippsburg


Reference / film number :  LFS 01422 2
Date :  1971
Coloration :  Color
Sound :  Sound movie
Running time :  00:04:00
Reel format :  Super 8 mm
Language :  German
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Body and Health, Sport, Swimming, Environment, Outdoor activities
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The beer truck is bright red. And the beer crates that are unloaded right away also stand out in their bright red hue. The industrial colors that penetrate everyday life in the 1970s are also noticeable in amateur film: colored areas that reflect the change in the world of life in Philippsburg - and are only really visible in photos or films. The beer crates are still cooled on ice sticks and not in modern refrigerators.

"Fisherfest 1971. The final preparations are made." The speaker provides the necessary orientation - the 'Super 8' technology now also makes it possible in amateur films to comment on the pictures and add music to them. In the background is the reporting as you know it from television, but the speaker and at the same time amateur filmmaker is not interested in creating the appearance of topicality. He sees himself as a kind of chronicler who looks back on the Fischerfest a few months apart. Last year the association invited the oldest residents of "our town" to eat fish, he explains, while a car column drove down a slope in the sunlight. When getting out of the car, a radiator hood pushes itself into the picture - in the half-close setting it almost looks like an abstract surface that is once again red.

The filmmaker knows how to report on the custom of the fishing association to pick up the very old Philippsburg citizens from home. He appears even more than the one who belongs and knows his stuff: With short cuts, the participants of the meal come into the picture and are named, especially the honorary directors Ludwig Bischoff and Karl Eppele. The men in the picture - and they are all old men, not one woman - are mentioned by their Name each. The custom of Philippsburg fish eating - it is now also recorded on film in the uniqueness of 1971.

Not only the bright red, but also the dark areas that creep into the settings from time to time make it clear that film images are not simply objective images, but depend on technical conditions. At the beginning it is the black hole of the tent entrance, and as the film progresses, the shadow areas in the image blur blur into dark surfaces from time to time. The perception and understanding of the film depend on the context that the amateur filmmaker creates not only visually, but above all linguistically - the fragmentary story that he tells as a speaker and participating observer. The underlying folk and pop music does the rest to create a certain atmosphere.

In the third part of the film, it is a hit by the famous German singer Roy Black that immerses the youngsters' price fishing in the Pfinz Canal in a lively atmosphere. In a long shot, the Pfinz stretches deep between rows of trees - image and music evoke the “poetry” of the place. The scenery comes closer to the view, is “broken down” into half-total and half-close shots: a boy preparing his fishing rod, or the groups of schoolchildren hoping for a catch on the bank - and with their colorful T-shirts next to them stand out from the bushes. Finally, a photo of the elongated waterfront makes the marquee localizable from a distance.

A swing on the Pfinz makes the reflection of the trees in the water a small visual event. The film is back at its starting point, the beer cart and the tent. The interior shots have not fallen victim to the scissors, although they clearly draw attention to the technical requirements of filmmaking: the available light in the interior of the tent is not sufficient for the shots. The guests at the tables sink into the semi-darkness against the background of the striped tarpaulin. The colors of the clothes help as a clue for the eye: a little girl slowly stands out in red.

And in the settings outside on the Pfinz, the colored color of the time is noticeable again: the red car in the back, the children with the red T-shirts playing on the waterfront. The chronicler of the amateur filmmaker captures something that goes into the film behind his back. With his film, the tradition of the Philippsburger Fischerfest can now also become the cultural memory of the city in audio-visual terms.

Reiner Bader

Places and monuments


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