In order to save the Dannenröder Forest from being cleared for a new highway route, climate activists occupied the forest in October 2019. For more than a year, they lived in tree houses well over 20 meters above the ground, creating an alternative living and open space.

A year later, with the beginning of the clearing season, the clearing of the structures and the clearing of the aisle for the A49 began. With creativity, courage and music the squatters:inside offered resistance and civil disobedience until finally on December 8, 2020 the last tree fell with the last tree house. David Klammer documented the protests against the clearing of the Dannenröder Forest for the planned highway expansion photographically and with the film camera. His film “Barricade – Pictures of a Forrest Occupation” (short: “Barricade“; German original title: “Barrikade“) accompanies the activists from September to December 2020.

The film “Barricade” has been honored with numerous awards and has been shown at renowned film festivals. Here is a selection: Snowdance Film Festival, Auroville Film Festival, Hofer Filmtage, Kasseler Dokfest, Eco Film Festival in Portland/USA, Peleponnisos Film Festival, Greece, Transitions Film Festival, Australia.

About the director David Klammer

Photojournalist David Klammer was born in West Berlin in 1961. He completed his diploma in communication design at the renowned Folkwangschule Essen in 1996. In 2005, he was appointed to the German Photography Academy (DFA). Since 2019, he has been a member of the DGPh (German Society for Photography). He received numerous scholarships ( among others VG Bild scholarship for the photo project “Auroville I The Last Utopia“; Robert-Bosch Foundation: Grenzgänger scholarship) and received numerous awards not only for “Barricade – Pictures of a Forrest Occupation” (German original title: “Barrikade“): German Prize for Science Photography, Kolga Tbilisi Photo, Flashback, Prize for Political Photography, VONOVIA AWARD for Photography and others.

Original title: Barrikade

Director: David Klammer

Camera: David Klammer

Sound: David Klammer

Editing: David Klammer


Production: David Klammer

Production Year: 2021

Genre: Documentary

Country: Germany


Length: ca. 83 min.

Rating: FSK 6

Aspect ratio: Cinemascope (21:9)

Sound: Stereo

Resolution: 2K

Other title:

English: Barricade – Pictures of a forest occupation (short: Barricade)

Filmlabel: NONFY Documentaries

Distribution: UCM.ONE


Theatrical Release: 02.02.2023

Awards and prizes

2005Appointed to the DFA (German Photographic Academy)
2007World Press Photo 3rd prize Sport Feature Series “Football Fans at the World Cup 2006”
2012German Prize for Science Photography 1st Prize Reportage
2015VG Bild scholarship for the photo project “Auroville I The Last Utopia”
2017Kolga Tbilisi Photo: 1st prize Conceptual Photography for “The Last Utopia”
Robert-Bosch Foundation: Grenzgänger Scholarship
2019Rückblende, Prize for political photography: 1st prize series
NRW Press Photo of the Year: 2nd Prize
Appointment to the DGPh (German Society for Photography)
2021International Hof Film Festival: Documentary “BARRICADE” nominated for Granit Award
Kassel DOKfest: Documentary “BARRICADE” nominated for Golden Hercules Award
2022VONOVIA AWARD for Photography: 2nd prize Best Series for “The Line”
Snowdance Filmfestival: 1st prize Best Documentary Award for “BARRICADE
NaturVision Filmfestival: Award “Rethinking” for “BARRICADE
Wiesbadener Photo days: Exhibition “The Line”

Director’s comment

“In 2018 I started a long-term photo project about the occupation of the Hambach Forest between Cologne and Aachen. It was autumn, the eviction was imminent and I got rather by chance into a world and way of life that increasingly fascinated me. There were people living in tree houses, some of which were built at heights of over 20 meters, in the middle of Germany. To defend a forest of which not much remained after many years of clearing by RWE. A hornbeam-oak-lily of the valley forest, unique in Germany. After the forest had been cleared, the Higher Administrative Court of Münster ruled that it could no longer be cleared. Hambi was saved!

I continued to photograph, got to know the squatters better and gained their trust. In October 2019, another forest in Germany was occupied, the Dannenröder Forst in Hesse. This time a forest was to be cleared for a highway route. And again, dozens of tree houses were built at dizzying heights, in some cases connected with traverses that make it possible to get from one tree house to the next without descending. An assignment for Greenpeace magazine took me there in the summer of 2020 and the idea was born to shoot a documentary this time. I wanted to bring other layers into a narrative: Emotions, music and, yes, action. Shooting a film alone as a photographer has advantages but also many disadvantages. Knowing the power of good images is one side, bringing those images into a gripping dramaturgy is the other. Documentaries and feature films are usually made as a team, and not without reason. The director has an eye on the story, the cameraman on the images, and someone else is responsible for the good sound.

On my own, mistakes can happen quickly. On the other hand, I can achieve a completely different closeness on my own, make myself more invisible and thus also bring a higher authenticity to the story. My approach for the documentary BARRICADE was to get involved in what was happening, not to intervene or direct.

Have I switched from photographer to filmmaker? No, I see myself more as a hybrid. Silk media are tremendously fascinating, yet differently challenging. While photographs work alone or in a series, film is always a complete work that contains many visual and aural layers. The intersection of both is definitely good pictures and an interesting story. We photojournalists have a good basis for taking the leap into the medium of film …”.

Theatrical trailer 

David Klammer about “Barricade” (German)


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