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Rangierer (Shunters)

1984, 21 min., b/w, Documentary
Director: Jürgen Böttcher
Cinematography: Thomas Plenert
Screenplay: Jürgen Böttcher
35mm, English subtitles
- renting information


A GDR version of cinéma verité, this film offers viewers a glimpse into the physically-demanding and dangerous precision work of experienced shunters. Day and night, in all kinds of weather, they hook and unhook railway cars in the largest goods-and-shunting station in the former GDR: Dresden-Friedrichstadt. Impressive images of the dignity of the working man.

Shunters is a symbolic film which manages without symbols. Watching the everyday routine in a shunting yard opens up a view of the entire world.”
– Rolf Richter, Film und Fernsehen

About the Director:

Jürgen Böttcher, also known as the painter “Strawalde,” was born in 1931 in Frankenberg. He studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts from 1949 to 1953, during which time he worked as an independent artist and taught night school, where he met the now famous painter A.R. Penck. From 1955 to 1960, Böttcher studied directing at the Film Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg and worked as a director in the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films until 1991. Having made more than 30 artistically provocative films, he has attained cult status among cineastes. Jürgen Böttcher has been working as an independent artist since 1991 and currently lives in Berlin. [See also, Born in '45]

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