Blending in

Homeless, Ionel sleeps on a bench in Cologne Airport. He earns more, pocketing bottle deposit money, selling newspapers and begging than in a regular job back home in Romania.

Synopsis // An airport is good for the homeless – it is warm, there are toilets and even internet connection – they must, however, be discreet, blend-in, appear like other passing travelers. Ionel sleeps on an airport bench and earns more pocketing bottle deposit money, selling newspapers and begging than in a regular job back home in Romania. As an outsider, he has a dark ironic sense of humor, but is optimistic and dreams of bringing his family to join him one day. Ionel is just one of the many Eastern European homeless who, escaping the poverty and acute problems of their homelands, have made Cologne Airport their “home”.

 

Filmmakers’ bios // Johanna Sunder-Plassmann (director, editor) studied Media Art. Between 2009 and 2012, she was intensively involved in the reconstruction of Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk’s MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE. Parallel to that work, she filmed her first documentary ISTANBUL COLLECTING (75min) about the museum and collectors in Istanbul. The documentary celebrated its premiere in Montréal in March 2014 and was screened in the Barbican Centre in London 2015. Together with Tama Tobias-Macht, she is currently shooting the documentary INVISIBLE HEROES (working title, 90min) about the personal belongings of homeless people.

Tama Tobias Macht (director, editor) directed her first documentary LADY MACHT in 2011, which celebrated its premiere at the 35 Duisburger Filmwoche. In 2012, she continued with 2000M² AND A GARDEN (45min, premiere: 36 Duisburg Documentary Film Festival, NRW Award for Young Film Artists, Findling Award, Film Festival dokumentART). She edited Johanna Sunder-Plassmann’s documentary ISTANBUL COLLECTION (75min) in 2013 (premiere: 32 FIFA Montréal 2014). Moreover, she edited the animation film QUIMTAI (10min) in 2014 (premiere: 61st. International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, Cologne DESIGN Award). Together with Johanna Sunder-Plassmann, she is currently shooting the documentary INVISIBLE HEROES (working title, 90min), about the personal belongings of homeless people.

 

OOP vision// “By focusing on the unique story, personality, artifacts and life-style of a single homeless person, we can spotlight and highlight the many out-of-sight and ignored, out-of-place persons in affluent Western society.” (Tama Tobias Macht)