Megalomania is a character trait shared by geniuses, madmen and Leipzig. If evidence should be required: a place surrounded by nothing but dry land and run through only by a small river boats a considerable port with warehouses, canals and locks. Basically, it’s Leipzig by the sea, if it wasn’t for reality which has invariably crossed the city’s plans so far. If you look at it from that perspective you see wind-swept ruins and useless concrete blocks cluttering the landscape.
Ute Puder and Marcus Nebe pulls of the feat of uniting both points of view: there’s the dream of a link to the sea, born out of the colonial pursuit of profit of an entrepreneur who in the age of industrialisation wanted to transport cotton straight from his plantation in Africa to the biggest cotton mill in Europe in Leipzig. Today some people dream of developing new forms of housing and living instead of hip galleries and lofts in these places, others dream of huge steamers in the shadow of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal (monument to the Battle of the Nations). One side is hampered by insufficient depth of water, the other by financial and municipal politics (the pursuit of profit again). Talking with experts and residents, using archive material, with poetic images, precise sound effects and a jazzy soundtrack, Puder and Nebe explores both, desire and delusion.