Project Description

Reform Movement.

The Paradise Seekers (WT)

The first film about the life reform movement originating in the artist village of Worpswede near Bremen, Northern Germany. Even before the outbreak of World War I, the avantgarde living here experimented with modern trends like organic food, fitness, naturopathy, ecological house-building, communal living and free love.

The animated documentary follows these paradise seekers and their efforts to reform and innovate, all the way through the pre-war years from 1905 until the end of the golden era of the 1920s, when their path leads them to the “mountain of truth”, the artist colony Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland.

director: Klaus Stanjek
genre: animadoc – animated documentary 
duration: approx. 80 mins.
project development: 2019

production: maxim film

German title Die Paradies-Sucher (WT)

writer & director Klaus Stanjek
animation teaser Sonja Rohleder, Rainer Ludwigs, Arno Schumann, Dominika Wyrobek, Anastasija Kretzschmar
music teaser André Feldhaus
drone camera teaser Ilhan Coskun
sound design teaser Anders Wasserfall
experimental tests actor Arnold Preuß
narrator teaser Martin Baum
translations Ilona Rieke
research & production support Henriette Degener
script development and project development funded by
nordmedia Film- und Mediengesellschaft Lower Saxony/Bremen

production maxim film

special thanks to Verein der Freunde Worpswedes e.V.

Many current modernization trends – be it organic food, fitness, naturopathy, ecological house-building, communal living or the liberation of love – can be traced back to at least 100 years ago. During the German Empire, dedicated reformers fought for their goal to reduce the harmful consequences of the industrial age and demanded a return to more natural ways of living.

That movement – with all its different facets – is still just as relevant today.

Before the outbreak of World War I, the various life reform movements came together in the famous artist village of Worpswede, located on the edge of a large moor near Bremen in Northern Germany.  The artist Heinrich Vogeler was at the center of this circle of reformers. The film The Paradise Seekers (WT) specifically focuses on the life reform efforts of these artists, and shows them as forerunners of contemporary movements.

The film follows these paradise seekers and their efforts to reform and innovate, all the way through the pre-war years from 1905 until the end of the golden era of the 1920s, when their path leads them to the “mountain of truth”, the artist colony Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland.

This animated documentary is an ensemble film, in which all protagonists are of equal importance. A narrator, embodied by a writer and chronicler with inside knowledge, helps to move the train of thought and the story lines along.

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