Der Stein zum Leben

A film by Katinka Zeune. In German.

[Credits] [Termine] [Trailer]

A cir­cus wagon and a ship­ping con­tai­ner ser­ve as stone­ma­son Michael Spengler’s work­shop. It is here that he recei­ves peo­p­le in mour­ning. Together they design head­sto­nes that tell of the deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Neustadt have lost their two-year-old son. Through their dia­lo­gue with Michael they find the words to express their emo­ti­ons, words that beco­me form and substance—their child’s breath is to be repre­sen­ted in a fra­gi­le lime­s­tone. Hardburg Stolle is a woman of few words, through Michael’s gui­dance she daunt­less­ly swings the ham­mer that splits a bould­er and feels a sen­se of strength that had been long buried. The Jacob fami­ly sear­ches for the essence of their grandfather’s life: lover of natu­re, bon vivant, patri­arch. What should an object that encap­su­la­tes him look like? Michael approa­ches the mate­ri­al and the peo­p­le with gre­at sen­si­ti­vi­ty and accom­pa­nies each fami­ly on a pro­cess that often takes months, one decis­i­on at a time.

The film tells the sto­ry of this dif­fi­cult and inti­ma­te pro­cess and shows how working on the stone makes death con­cre­te in the truest sen­se of the word. As the stone takes on its form, the fami­lies dis­co­ver a new rela­ti­onship with the deceased—and to life.



DE 2018, 77 Min., 
Regie & Kamera: Katinka Zeuner 
Schnitt: Anna Pesavento


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