Project Description

More stories from the world of Lost Water.

Lost Water Part 4

Some few metres removed from the geographic centre of the former GDR springs an inconspicuous little stream, Verlorenwasser (Lost Water). In the past it vanished back into the earth a few steps from its point of origin, only to reappear a few kilometres away.

Verlorenwasser Creek is the point of departure for a collage of historical documents, noises and musical fragments, interviews, observations, radio reports and idyllic, filmed forays through an (apparently) empty landscape. Fläming Heath Heights are less than a hundred kilometres south of Berlin, on the very edge of Brandenburg, yet in the heart of Prussia.

First day of filming of ‘Verlorenwasser 1’: the first free elections on March 18, 1990.

In the third, and fictional, part of the film, ‘Krasna Amerika’ (Beautiful America), we follow the 1899 odyssey of the Russian fabric merchant Igor Gruseveyitch and are witness to his filmed impressions of Russia, America and Germany. His film is made in the intention of persuading his wife to emigrate to the USA. She is reluctant, Igor takes measures, and solves his problem – in Verlorenwasser.

In the fourth part, the film-maker explores the present situation at deserted military, riot police and state security premises. Roloff loses himself repeatedly in the traces of the past and their cold aura. Verlorenwasser becomes a metaphor for the disappearance and reappearance of history and stories in the flow of time.

director: Peter Roloff
genre: film d’essay
duration: 20 min.
format: 16 mm | b&w

original title Verlorenwasser 4
year 2009
writer | director | photographer | composer Peter Roloff
montage Manfred Hielscher
production office Andrea Kuserau | Jana Drescher
film lab CinePostproduction – Geyer Berlin
negative editing Barbara Gummert
opticals Moser + Rosié
filmed on Kodak Double-X
poster artwork tho Aspern . design
funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg | Filmbüro Bremen – Senator für Kultur Bremen
production maxim film

GPS file of the 10th shooting day on December 29, 2009. The file can be imported in Google Earth. Download

On January 4, 2009 the filmmaker and his friend Buxa hided a cache near Verlorenwasser. View the report on Link.

Director‘s Statement:
Verlorenwasser is an imaginary place in a real landscape. In search of an empty Germany, I found the stream on a map and was fascinated by its name. My first trip to the source of Verlorenwasser was the living out of a daydream. Before me it lay, that allegedly long-forgotten, Prussian, and so very placid Germany. That was a good twenty years ago. The place, or better still, the idea of that place, never lost its grip on me.

(…) The pictures on the walls of memory may lose shape but they do not fade. The landscape around Verlorenwasser charms with its meagreness. The eye rests on accustomed things: a field, a forest, a pylon, a fence. Greedily I search for unusual devices, peculiarities in natural forms or changes of weather. Traces of the unusual. I carve pictures out of nature with my camera. I dissect sounds. The indifference of the landscape should yield to my demand that it provide narrative. It turns into an obsession. I force the landscape to speak. Its signs should learn language. Holes in all things.
Each and every one of us digs deeper, follows imagination. Napoleon’s fleeing soldiers search the forests for a hidden war chest. Inhabitants search for the buried statue of Borussia on the Hagelberg after the Second World War. Behind the idyllic facade of Verlorenwasser I see the war inscription. ‘1945’ – the figure inscribes itself in the signs. Or do I form the number in the signs? Whoever determines the rules escapes the question. I transform Verlorenwasser into a stage. Voilà – the curtains open, Igor Gruseveyitch appears before my eyes. I have him travel the world and finally die in Verlorenwasser. But Igor resists me. He stages his death. And thereby flees determination to live a new life in another place. I, however, remain in Verlorenwasser.

March 18, 2010
Kino Krokodil, Berlin
Theatrical release of ‚Verlorenwasser (Lost Water) 1 – 2 – 3 – 4‘.

German theatrical and DVD Distributor
Basis Film-Verleih

World Sales
maxim film