IT WORKS II
“IT WORKS: it can be managed, it's happening, it's functioning” wrote Fridolin Schönwiese in 1998 about his short film devoted to Gerald, Valentin, and Michael, among others. The filmmaker picks up the thread again in 2021. Back then his protagonists were children, ten years old; now they are in the prime of life. “IT WORKS documents the will to create and accomplish something” – Fridolin Schönwiese’s description of the short film from the 1990s could also stand as the motto of his current labor of love, IT WORKS II. When Michael fights his way to the finish line on his bike, accompanied by applause in the RaceRunning competition at the Paralympics in Denmark, my empathy is entirely with him. This succeeds because the filmmaker unreservedly takes Michael’s side. The camera’s gaze is concentrated and attentive, allowing me to participate in the world of Gerald, Valentin, and Michael – a world in which autonomy cannot be taken for granted. In the process, cinematic images of great intensity emerge, creating absolute closeness to the protagonists while at the same time maintaining an appropriate distance.
“Yes, Valentin – he’s very strange,” comments a voice off-screen at the beginning of the film. Later I think I understand for a moment what Valentin’s world could be like – when I’m allowed to look into his face for a long time in the discotheque, as the location sound disappears and the chiming of the church tower clock indicates Valentin’s possible internal perspective. The film takes its time to watch and listen and gives me cinematic time with three protagonists whose fine humor shows how things can succeed in life. (Gabriele Mathes)
Translation: John Wojtowicz
IT WORKS II