Henryk Wichmann is a trained lawyer and the father of three daughters; he is also an MP for Germany’s CDU in Potsdam. This young and breezy backbencher is always ready to counter the governing coalition of SPD and Linkspartei. When parliament is not in session he travels about his Uckermark constituency. It is one of the largest in Germany, but sparsely populated and marked by high unemployment. The popular belief that politicians are becoming increasingly distanced from their constituents does not apply to Wichmann. He for one is right in the thick of things and does not shy away from the tasks that make up an MP’s daily grind: whether he is asked to sort out broken doors on slow trains, preserve the number of police stations in the remoter countryside, or make sure that certain cycle paths aren’t built because they would jeopardise the lesser spotted eagle – an endangered species. Whenever he is out on his long trips through Brandenburg’s wide open spaces he enjoys relaxing to classical music – but nonetheless, he’s often dead beat of an evening…
After his documentary Herr Wichmann von der CDU which screened in the Panorama in 2003, Andreas Dresen returns in his new work to explore afresh the workings of grass-roots democracy. The results are sometimes farcical and sometimes contain sardonic overtones – for after all, failure is all part of the game. –Berlinale
Born in 1963, Andreas Dresen started shooting amateur films in 1979. From 1984 to 1985 he worked as a sound technician at the theater in Schwerin, and then apprenticed at the DEFA studio for film, working as assistent director with Günter Reisch. Andreas Dresen studied direction at the University for Film and TV ‘Konrad Wolf’ in Potsdam. Since 1992 he has been working as writer and director for both, TV and big screen as well as theater. In 1998 he became a member of the Academy of Arts Berlin-Brandenburg.
Andreas Dresen has received numerous awards for his documentaries and feature films, among them the German Critics Award (SILENT COUNTRY, NIGHT SHAPES, GRILL POINT), the German Film Award in silver (NIGHT SHAPES, GRILL POINT), the Grimme Award in gold (POLICEWOMAN), and the Silver Bear, the 24th Bavarian Director’s Award and the award for ‘Best Director’ of the festivals in Chicago and Gent (GRILL POINT).