Project Description

The forgotten port of European emigration.

Farewell Quay

Video on Demand:
Streaming & Download

Tales of departures and partings intersect at Steubenhöft quay – the forgotten port of European emigration.

The quay is almost not of this earth, a final terminus and a starting point for the transit voyages to the United States and Canada. The film-maker traverses this place of countless farewells in images full of longing.

Situated on the German North Sea coast, it is the only still-operating, former emigration harbour in the world. Tales told by the people there, travellers after the turn of the century, and emigrants during the war awaken the place to new life.

director: Brigitte Krause
genre: documentary
duration: 80 / 58 / 52 min.
format: HD

original title Kai des Aufbruchs
year 2010
writer | director | editor Brigitte Krause
photography Brigitte Krause | Oleg Welk | Horst Herz | Sven Kiesche
film music André Feldhaus
protagonists theater group Das Letzte Kleinod | Helga von Schweinitz | Hella Berthiaume | Horst Koperschmidt | Marianne Ferguson | Kadir Soytürk | and others
music performances by Kurt Kniesche & Seemannschor Elbe 1 | Giora Feidman & the Gershwin Quartett | piano player Gustav Ribbe | Hansjörg Klotz & Combo
dramaturgical advisor Margot Neubert-Marić
sound operators Jörn Anders | Detlef Fehst | Freya Fiedler | Michael Kersten
sound editing Malte Bieler
sound mix Bernd Steinwedel
HD video mastering Montagehalle – Eike Bartsch | Arno Schumann
camera assistants Hanke Holtappels et al.
poster artwork tho Aspern . design
production assistants Andrea Kuserau | Jana Drescher
producer Peter Roloff
script development funded by Kulturelle Filmförderung Hamburg
production funded by nordmedia Fonds GmbH in Lower Saxony and Bremen
production maxim film
in co-production with Brigitte Krause Filmproduktion
Excerpt from Director’s Statement:

Film work as artist in residence at Steubenhöft in Cuxhaven

In 2008, I move into the vacant building that formerly housed the Cuxhaven harbour police, looking out onto the Steubenhöft, the Hapag-Hall and the America Port. For several months, this brick building, located within the duty-free trade zone, will be the point of departure for my filmic observations.
The ‘Höft’, the headland, is cut off by a lock. Tourists occasionally lose their way and find themselves in front of the building complex. A group of pensioners insistently regrets the existence of a fence blocking off the headlands and gridding the sea-view.
The ships’ handlers operate here around the clock, the sailing club has a celebration now and then, when the weather is nice a few fishermen congregate and the occasional truck rolls through to unload cargo at the America Port. Not too long ago, a small section of the old ensemble was partitioned off and now houses a modern company. Its sign dominates the customs house and makes it hard for the camera to ignore. At night it is quiet, save for the lapping of water against the harbour’s edge, the ringing sounds made by the rocking sailboat masts, the distant sound of a ship’s horn. (…)

The Emigration Museum – BallinStadt
Excerpts of “Farewell Quay” at permanent exhibition

German premiere

1st Film- und Medienforum Niedersachsen / Lower Saxony
September 25, 2010
Kino Capitol, Walsrode

International premiere

IV. Istanbul Intern. Architecture and Urban Films Festival
October 4-10, 2010

Première at shooting location Cuxhaven

October 26th, 2010
Kino Bali


German-Texan Heritage Society
January 16, 2011
Austin, USA


May 18, 2011

Heimspiel screening series of Filmbüro Bremen
July 6, 2011
Kino Schauburg


Maritime Museum of Germany
November 3, 2011
in cooperation with Kommunales Kino Bremerhaven
and Kulturladen Grünhöfe

International Ethnografic Film Festival, Germany
May 13, 2012, Paulinerkirche

Video on Demand:
Streaming & Download

English DVD in USA/Canada: and

English and German DVD:
German bookshops and
ISBN No. 978-3-9812395-3-9

World Sales
maxim film
Distribution in cooperation with East-West-Visions