In these times, when the EU is politically drifting apart, one might think that people’s concerns would also have changed. EUROPE, SHE LOVES weaves together the stories of four couples on the edges of Europe: Siobhan and Terry in Dublin want to live without drugs; in Tallinn, Veronika hopes Harri will get on better with her son, Artur; Penny wants to leave Thessaloniki, and the older Niko, to work in Italy; and Juan and Caro in Seville, newly in love, hardly think about the future.
Everyday life brings similar problems for all of them and their relationships offer a private escape from the social and economic problems of their home countries. Excessive parties and drug use are a matter of course for all of them, and they let the camera share intimate moments, right up until the moment of sex.
Jan Gassmann and cameraman Ramon Giger succeed in establishing an impressive closeness to the couples, episodically capturing the essence of their living conditions with sparse use of imagery.
Direction & Screenplay: Jan Gassmann
DOP: Ramon Giger
Editing: Miriam Märk, Roland von Tessin, Jacques l’Amour
Sound design: Maurizius Staerkle Drux
Sound: Fabian Gutscher
Music: Library Tapes, Julia Kent (cello)
Production: Lisa Blatter, Jan Gassmann
Co-Producer: Maren Lüthje
Co-producers: Andreas Hörl, Florian Schneider
Co-production: lüthje schneider hörl FILM, Munich
Distribution (DE): déjà-vu Film
JAN GASSMANN, Writer/Director
Born 1983 in Zurich, grew up in Langnau.
Started his career with the Swiss film collective VideoGang.
Gassmann won the Viper Festival, Basel, 2002 and 2003. He shot documentaries in South America and India before studying documentary film directing and television journalism at the Hochschule für Fernse-hen und Film (HFF) in Munich.
His documentary CHRIGU was presented at the Berlinale Forum in 2007. His feature film debut OFF BEAT was produced by the Berlinale Panorama in 2011, and his documentary KARMA SHADUB (co-directed by Ramon Giger) was awarded a prize at the Documentary Film Festival in Nyon in 2013.
The collaborative work HEIMATLAND, 2015, premiered at a competition in Locarno and was awarded Prizes by the City of Zurich and the City of Bern.
2014 Heimatland, Fiction, ca. 90′ (with 10 directors); Idea, Director (Episode).
2013 Karma Shadub. Doc, 90′; Co-Director, Editor, Producer
2012 Style Wars 2, Doc, 70′; Editor
2010 Off Beat, Fiction, 95′; Author, Director, Editor
2007 Chrigu, Doc, 86′; Director, Editor
2003 With 500 Rupees to Heaven, Doc, 1o’; Author, Director
Autumn is coming to Europe and the streets are cooking.
The whole is reflected in its parts and vice versa. Just as decisions are made in Brussels, for rational, emotional or economic reasons, we recognise the same structures in the smallest of all groups: the couple. This documentary about four couples at the borders of Europe becomes a parable of the continent of Europe.
I portray my generation: the forgotten, the lost, the discontented. Young people between twenty and thirty. A film without political conversations, but shot in places and situations where the political future of Europe is decided.
Four times love. Why? The contrast between the public and the private reveals a continent in transition. While my protagonists queue for work and food, they try to keep things going and survive together.
And when we get closer, words disappear, no one speaks anymore, only feelings. A touch, a look.
In this film I was looking for these in-between areas, areas that are usually filled with facts. What should make life worth living if not love?
I think documentaries should not leave love to the feature film and hide behind scientific theories. Politics should not only be commented on in a rational way. A documentary film should transport emotions in the same way as any other film. The more subjectively a film is shot and edited, the more accurate the view of the subject becomes. No film is objective.
This is my film about us, the time bombs, the forgotten ones with the unclear future, but full of love.
Berlinale 2016, Panorama
DOK.fest München, FFF-Förderpreis 2016
Sydney Film Festival
Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, Warschau
Docville International Documentary Film Festival, Leuven
Crossing Europe Film Festival, Linz
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival