Enki’s Comeback

Süddeutsche Zeitung/ film section, 14.9.2006,
by Fritz Göttler

The “Boat God of the Lakeside Sportsclub” in the Munich Film Museum

by Fritz Göttler

We will never again be able to start anew as formerly… This is a sad result for the beginning of a film. We are dealing with the big story, the story of mankind, a time before the flood, when the gods still mingled with the people, lived in the temples of their towns and gave them practical advice about how to be a proper person. This is how it once was – now there is a tendency to suppress and destroy the old texts. Plunderers are rampaging in the ancient libraries.

One of these gods reappears at the beginning of this film and settles in the countryside – this is Enki, the lord of the water, now wandering, in the shape of Steffen Enkert, among men in the new Mesopotamia between the rivers Oder and Spree, on the shore of the Lake Scharmützel south of Berlin; ideal for the 5000m cutter trip. And Enki makes sure, first of all, that the film dedicated to him gets a title: “The Boat God of the Watersports Club – 100 ME, part 1”. On Thursday at 7pm, it plays at the Munich Film Museum, introduced by filmmaker Robert Bramkamp, who in his last film “Prüfstand 7”, let a female V2 rocket consider her fate.

The new Enki starts right at the bottom, on a job creation scheme, with the simplest tasks at the watersports club Wendisch Rietz. And it’s great to watch the people here, rowing and dreaming, and bent over their machines, the boats and workbenches (and when they expend toil and words, a rhythm, a meaning, a calmness is born). What Robert Bramkamp does here is similar to what Straub/Huillet or James Benning do, what Jean Renoir or John Ford did, or the old Robert Flaherty. His most important task, Enki says, is to delegate to the largest number possible, to stretch out a network of communication, of community. In the cinema, the hybrids that produce monsters are – as we know – “not only permitted, they are, when one thinks about it, its law… particularly since the screen started to talk, it has swarmed with chimeras and centaurs and werewolves. Even the gods, once again, occasionally wander among men.” (Frieda Grafe) With this film, one shouldn’t talk about its conception, its evolution, but rather its future. It is part of an Internet project that Robert Bramkamp will introduce on Thursday (information on www.enki100.net). göt

Copyright © Süddeutsche Zeitung 2006