The Pastor’s Children – Punks, Politicians and Philosophers

Director: Angela Zumpe / 84 min. / 2017 / German (UT: English) / Germany

“The Pastor’s Children” offers a glimpse behind the scenes: what does it mean to be a pastor’s child. Follow the funny, sad, and absurd stories.

Director: Angela Zumpe
Script: Angela Zumpe
Cinematography: Peter Petrides, Hanno Rank
Editing: Markus Stein
Production: MiriquidiFilm, paste up production

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The pastor’s house should contribute to improving the state and society. That’s how the Reformation had intended it. The parishioner’s expectations of a pastor’s daughter in the 1960’s were simple: She ought to be less cheeky than her girlfriends, less funny and less selfish. Tensions were inevitable. The filmmaker Angela Zumpe, herself a pastor’s child, composes a mosaic of film fragments, old photos, her father’s Super 8mm films, all guided by the search of her protagonists for answers on the question: What is left of the ‘Myth of the Parsonage’- especially in their own lives?

Hans Hütt – Autor, Mechthild Katzorke – Filmmacherin, Elisabeth Bürger, Pfarrer Valentin Kwaschik, Dr. Markus Meckel, Dr. Eckart von Klaeden

Directed by Angela Zumpe
Screenplay: Angela Zumpe
Camera: Peter Petrides, Hanno Rank
Editing: Markus Stein
Sound: Bjorn Geldermann
Music: Ilya Coric
Production: MiriquidiFilm, paste up production

Funded by: BKM

Angela Zumpe
born in Berlin, lives and works in Dessau and Berlin

73-81 Study at University of Fine Arts, Berlin (Painting, Installation, Video),
81- 82 Masterclass, Study Film at New York University, Tisch School of Film and Television (Grant German Academic Exchange Service)
since 1991 spezialized on digital images, experimental videos and
filmproduktionen between Documentary, Art and Essay,
TV-Design for German TV_STations: RIAS, DW, rbb, MDR, SAT 1
Corporate-Design for n-tv (newschannel)
Several art exibitions, and festival participations

seit 1998 professor for audio-visual media st dessau department of
design at University for Applied Science Saxony-Anhalt
before: professor in Stuttgart, Mainz and Essen,

2019/2020 THINGS TO COME – A moving picture about László, Lucia and Sibyl
Moholy-Nagy at Art Museum Moritzburg Halle (Saale)

23.06.- 25.8.2019 im Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale)
02.10. – 02.12. 2019 Lyonel-Feininger-Galerie Quedlinburg
13.12.2019 – 12.01.2020 Anhaltischen Gemäldegalerie Dessau
2019 June Book publication »Die Geister nehme ich mit – ein Werkstattbericht« at Distanz (publisher):

3/2017 Pastors Children – punks politicians and philosophers
Documentary at Deutsches Haus NYC: Deutsches Haus New York
»How German pastors collected church bells for Hitler« Review by Lucy Komisar

How German pastors collected church bells for Hitler

2016 Pfarrers Kinder – Punks, Politiker und Philosophen, Dok-Film 84 min. und Förderung BKM, Luther 2017 + Transmediaprojekt Webdoku + Installation
Preview: Landesvertretung Sachsen-Anhalt im Rahmen des Auftakts zum Lutherjahr november-2016-pfarrers-kinder/

2010 TRANSIT – Documentary 80 Min. Author, Director, Co-Producer sponsered by MDM, SLM, MDR
Premiere: ACHTUNG BERLIN Filmfestival;
Filmkunstmesse Leipzig,
DOK-Woche Leipzig „Best of MDR“
8th Palace Film Festival Balchik Bulgarien
13. Festival des Deutschen Films in Madrid

3.10.2010 Theatrical Release: BASISFILM Verleih in über 27 gewerblichen Kinos
TV-Release MDR: 28.10.2010, 2nd Broadcast: rbb 3.3.2011

2014 Online:
2007 FLÜSTERSPIEL- Videoessay 30 min

Premiere bei EXGROUND Filmfest Wiesbaden
Werkleitz-Gesellschaft – Zentrum für künstlerische Bildmedien
Sachsen-Anhalt – Halle „Visiting Artist“ 10/2007

2005 Farben des Alterns-Colors of Ageing
Videoessay 30 min. + DVD
in Kooperation mit der Stiftung Bauhau Dessau und der Vertretung des
Landes Sachsen-Anhalt in Berlin 3/06

2005/2006 STEINWELT 8 min/1991- Kurzfilm bei “Screening war” ZKM Karlsruhe
ZKMax- Maximiliansforum München, 1991 Auszeichung 6. Int. Video- and TV-Festival Montbeliard
weitere Kurzfilme u.a.: ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN 8 min 1992, DER STURM
8 min 1994, div. Kurzfilmfestivals, s.u.
2004 Das andere Amerika – 45 min. Videoessay
28. AKZENTE – Kulturfestival Duisburg
Filmfestival Lagow Polen 8/ 04
Galerie play – gallery for still and motion image Berlin
Filmkunsthaus Babylon, Dachkino Leipzig 10/05

2003 WESTAUSGANG – Transformationen einer Region – 5-screen
Videoinstallation in Koop mit TRANSMEDIALE Berlin 2003
play – gallery for still and motion picture, “d-motion-Festival” Halle 2002- Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg Halle

Poetryclips zu Texten von Rolf Hauffs, Richard Wagner, Peter Weiss, auf der Buchmesse
2009, erschienen auf der DVD „Poesiefilme“ Duden Paetec Verlag, März 2010

Recently I found an article on why “we pastors’ children” seem to have a mission; Angela Merkel, Gudrun Ensslin and other prominent pastors’ children are used as proof. Cliché or not, I sometimes wondered if there might also be common experiences that I found in my protagonists that reminded me of my own childhood.

I was often alone with my brother, who was 6 years older, because my mother supported my father in his community work. In the then newly founded Bonhoefer parish in Berlin-Lankwitz, the parish hall was part of the complex that also housed the parish nurses, kindergarten and youth workers. All of them more or less interfered in our education. What people might say was always at the table, even when there were no guests.

“I am against violence, whether it comes from the right or the left! That’s all there is to say.” With that, the father blocks any further conversation with the rebellious brother. One story that my father always liked to tell in a variety of ways was the story of the Churchwardens. During the war, when he was a radio operator, he suffered a bullet wound that narrowly missed his heart and led to the paralysis of his left hand. This was the end of the war for him. He used it as a reason for his decision to become a pastor, as a sign from God, so to speak. For my brother, this was just another annoying justification for my father’s passivity during the Nazi era.

I can remember the excitement of the recurring discussions between my father and my brother. The whole thing culminated in my brother’s demonstrative resignation from the church and a polemic, which he called “Why I Am Resigning from the Church.” It was filled with quotations from Nietzche and Marx and he slammed it at my father’s feet.

In retrospect, this story fits with the usual stories of clashes between fathers and sons at the end of ’68. The only difference was that it was fought even more intensely in the parsonage. Even in rejection, the protest had something intense, fanatical. It went against the rules of decency formulated by the parents (and, in the higher instance, by God). In the glass parsonage, life had to succeed in an exemplary way, and yet for that very reason it often went rather wrong.

The examples I found for my film are funny, contradictory and absurd. It is also a story of emancipation from an educated bourgeois, tension-filled environment, from which there was both a creative escape and examples of drastic failure.

Angela Zumpe Berlin, 2017

Kassel Dokfest 2017