Small Planets

Small Planets” tells of four extraordinary places and communities isolated from their surroundings. These are spaces that continue to cause amazement even among the people who live there.

Small Planets” wants to make the isolation of these places tangible and the walls that surround them visible. Both the real ones and the ones we create in our minds. They are living spaces on the edge of Europe and also in the middle of it, spaces whose sheer existence is astonishing. They are located in Spain, Italy, Iceland and Norway. They are microcosms that act like a mirror image of our society today. What influence do these places have on their inhabitants, and who is part of the community?

The selected places are symbolic of various forms of isolation. In order to reach these places, one must overcome obstacles. One has to cross oceans, overcome fears and prejudices. You have to pass control stations, overcome cultural barriers or simply open your eyes.

About director Dirk Manthey:

Dirk Manthey studied ethnology and Romance languages and literature and trained as a landscape gardener. Since 1996 he has been working as a director and producer and founded the production company dirk manthey film UG for this purpose and in 2016 also the production company La Mosca Bianca films GmbH especially for feature films. Since 2018 Dirk Manthey has been a lecturer for Visual Anthropology at the University of Münster, after having previously been a lecturer at the Film Academy INCINE, Quito, Ecuador.

Director’s note by Dirk Manthey:

“Small Planets is a film about isolated places and their inhabitants. About places that make the exclusion, the segregation, of people from society tangible and visible. It is important for me that all these places are in Europe and that the people who live there and their fate are tangible for us. We are all getting old, we can all be infected with a disease. We all try to feed our families. And in which country we are born and in which culture, that is not in our hands. This film is about places that are close to us and about people in whose skin we could be. 

My intention is to convey the importance of social contacts and the enormity of their loss through the people we will meet in my film and whose lives we will be introduced to. Their living spaces have a supporting and challenging effect. They are the “visible” walls behind which the people living here are hidden, hiding, but which can also provide protection and security. They are places that also cause astonishment and disbelief among the people in the countries where they are located.”

Original title: Stall Planets

Director: Dirk Manthey

Producer: Dirk Manthey, Kurt Ottenbacher

Executive Producer: Dirk Manthey, Mathias Kraemer

Cinematography: Sebastian Bock

Sound: Peter Stein

Editting: Ramon Raoul Stein

VFX: Sebastian Harnack

Titledesign  Johannes Matern

Sounddesign: Roman Welken (Freudenhammer Tonstudios)

Color Correction: Ulrich Kodjo Wend, Uli Klingler

Production companies: Dirk Manthey Film UG,STrandfilm Prodijtions GmbH

Year of production: 2018

Genre: Documentary

Countries: Spain, Italy, Island, Norway

Languages: Spanish, English, Italian, Chinese (Mandarin), Icelandic, French, English, Sinhala

Untertitel: German, English

 

Lenght: 96 Min

Rating: FSK 0

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Sound: Stereo

Resolution: HD

Filmlabel: NONFY Documentaries

Distributor: UCM.ONE

 

Theatrical release: January 09, 2020

The selected places are symbolic of various forms of isolation. In order to reach these places, one must overcome obstacles. One has to cross oceans, overcome fears and prejudices. You have to pass control stations, overcome cultural barriers or simply open your eyes.

Grimsey

The 3.5 km ² island of Grimsey lies 41 kilometers off the main island of Iceland, in the middle of the harsh Greenland Sea. It is inhabited by scarcely 100 residents. The main source of income is fishing. There is neither a doctor nor a priest. If the children want to attend a higher school, they must leave the island and move to the main island at an age of 12.

Lepra-Sanatorium San Francisco de Borja in Fontilles

Well hidden behind steep mountain ridges, surrounded by a wall three miles long and three meters high, lies the Leprosy Sanatorium San Francisco de Borja, barely 20 kilometers away from the spanish holiday beaches of the Costa Blanca. In the leprosy sanatorium, that was originally designed for 400 patients, 62 former patients are still alive today.

Ny-Ålesund

At the archipelago of Spitzbergen, only 1.231 km from the North Pole, there is one of the most northern human settlements of the world: Ny-Ålesund. The location houses the „biggest laboratory of the modern Arctic research“; it can only be reached by ship during the ice free period or by plane. Just a handful of people are organizing the life and the work of polar researchers on the german-french research station AWIPEV throughout the year.

Sri-lankische Gemeinde in Neapel

“Io non ti tocco, tu non mi Tocchi” (“I will not touch you and you don´t touch me“), is the motto of italies largest Sri-Lankan community in Naples. Narrow streets and alleys, crammed with people, Sinhalese characters on the walls, deafening noise. Around 7,000 Sinhalese live in the “Vicolo Francesco Correra,” right in the middle of the historic center of Naples. This aera of Naples is known as “il Cavone” (“the big cave”), characterized by great poverty.

Naples, the unofficial capital of the Camorra is infamous for its high crime rate. Seemingly unimpressed by these circumstances, the Sinhalese have created their own little Sri Lanka. Strong cultural barriers protect themselves and their children from the negative influences of their environment.

Further information about the documentary Small Planets can also be found at www.smallplanets.eu.

Trailer

Press comments

“The Hamburg filmmaker Dirk Manthey visited four particularly extreme and also surprising of these “small planets”, as he calls them, with his camera and shot a documentary. He relies on a rather sober and less striking visual language, on long shots and trusts that the viewers will look around in his long shots and thus make their own discoveries”. (Taz North)

“[Dirk Manthey] is interested – subtly, sometimes almost a little too subtly – in what communities exclude in order to preserve themselves, in what lies beyond the border.” (Sueddeutsche.de)

“Visually stunning documentary film about four extraordinary places in Spain, on Svalbard, in the middle of Naples and on the island of Grimsey, which are home to closed societies. … “Small Places” is a visual treat full of great images, but its meaning is only slowly revealed.” (Filmdienst.de)

“What is impressive about Manthey’s silent film, especially the images, but also the people who live in the isolated places, is that it does not only focus on places like the largest laboratory of arctic research in Ny-Ålesund, but also something as unusual as the community of Sri Lankan-born people in the middle of Naples. (Programmkino.de)

“The inside and outside of this world of experience opens new perspectives.” (Moviepilot.de)

News

Theatrical release “Small Planets” with premiere at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium Berlin

Today the visually stunning documentary film “Small Planets” by director Dirk Manthey will celebrate its German premiere at 7:30 pm in the “Wissenschaftskino” (English “Science Cinema”) series at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium Berlin. The documentary film about four places, each of which is  in its own way isolated from the rest of the world, gets by without…

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“Small Planets” celebrates its German premiere on January 09, 2020

The visually stunning documentary film “Small Planets” by director Dirk Manthey will celebrate its German premiere on Thursday, January 09, 2020 at 7:30 pm in the “Wissenschaftskino” (English “Science Cinema”) series at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium Berlin. The director and his team will be present, before the film he will give an introduction to the topic “Visual…

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