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“Six monks from Bhutan. For most of them, it is their first trip abroad. They have come to create something extraordinary at the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum: a traditional sand mandala measuring five by five meters. It is thought to be the largest one in the world. Working with utmost concentration from morning to evening at the Jahrhunderthalle for ten days, they strew sand to form a Chakrasamvara mandala. They produce images of divinities, palaces, walls, spirits, and many symbols of astonishing subtlety, diversity, and color. And then, almost like a shock, as soon as the mandala is created, it is destroyed again in a ritual ceremony. The sand is swept up, and the following night it is poured into a nearby river so that it can return to the cycle of nature. We watch and try to give our images the concentration, calm, and precision of the monks’ work. Its strangeness as well. Now and again one of the monks explains what we are seeing, what is happening, and how it relates to the sand and the motifs of the mandala. The film dispenses with any other explanations or commentaries by third parties. As a result, the film itself is a kind of visual meditation, not esoteric or superficial but rather calm, quiet, concentrated.” (Christoph Hübner and Gabriele Voss)
Christoph Hübner, Gabriele Voss
Christoph Hübner was born in 1948 in Heidelberg, studied directing at the HFF in Munich and has been making cinema and TV films since 1975. He was a co-founder of the Ruhrfilmzentrum in 1978, established his own film production company and is engaged in the Europäischen Dokumentarfilminstitut (EDI). Hübner worked predominantly on feature-length documentaries that were often part of a cycle. From 1994 to 2000 Hübner developed the project Dokumentarisch arbeiten. In thirteen episodes he held discussions on the specifics of documentary with directors such as Johan van der Keuken, Volker Koepp and Klaus Wildenhahn. Since 1975 Gabriele Voss has focussed on montage, dramaturgy and scripting in her film work for cinema and TV. Voss did her doctorate on perception theory and aesthetics. Apart from
her participation in over thirty films by Christoph Hübner, she has held numerous lectureships and teaching assignments. Among her diverse publications is the book and film Schnitte in Raum und Zeit from 2006. Christoph Hübner and Gabriele Voss have been awarded numerous prizes such as the Adolf Grimme Preis, and the Verdienstorden des Landes NRW.