Science-Docu-Fiction / Luxembourg/Austria 2017 / 45 min / colour
World Premiere: SUNDANCE Film Festival 2017
Written & directed by: Bady Minck
Cosmic cartographers: Ganaël Dumreicher, Roxanne Oberlé, Robin Oberlé
Cosmic cartographers: Georgy Haselböck / Chakrabreaker, Ivory Parker, Lilly Janoska
The Earth: Adele Neuhauser, Maria Bill
Wikispeaks: Alexander Tschernek
Beatboxing: Ivory Parker, Georgy Haselböck / Chakrabreaker
Whispering Voices: Walid Abushady, Ruth Beckermann, Tamara Chavez, Pia Dumont, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Ganaël Dumreicher, Heidi Dumreicher, Thomas Eichhorn, Maribel Garcia, Joachim Losehand, Julie McCarthy, Igor Metzeltin, Bady Minck, Christian Müller, Lili Ni, Miguel Nunes, Martin Repka, Peter Stastny, Shuang Tang, Alessandra Tirendi, Hugo Vieira da Silva, Carla Zamora
Editing & Sound Design: Frédéric Fichefet
Additional Editing & Sound Design: Pia Dumont
Editing Assistant: Philipp Bittner
Additional Sound Editing: Angelo dos Santos
Additional Layout Editing: Elke Groen
Re-recording Sound Mixer: Michel Schillings
Original Score: Siegfried Friedrich, David Furrer, André Mergenthaler
Special appearance vocals: Sainkho Namtchylak
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Cinematography: Martin Putz
Camera Assistant: Serge Benasutti
Electrician: Vitalijus Kiselius
Production Design: Christina Schaffer
Production design first assistant: Sylvia Kasel
Production design assistant: Colleen Blake
Props: Manu Poupard
Carpenter: Luc Ridremont
Space ship construction: Anni Schaffer
Costume Designer: Uli Simon
Make-up: Béatrice Stephany
Consultants: Homer, Eratosthenes, Abu ibn al Idrisi, Abu Raihan ibn Ahmad al Biruni, Yi Hoe, Kwon Kun, Macrobius, Fra Mauro, Barbara Pichler, Dagmar Streicher, Martin Waldseemueller
Script consulting: Franz Rodenkirchen, Jutta Wernicke
Dialogue consulting: Eric Collins, Gustav Ernst, Élodie Malanda
Chinese transcriptions: Marie-Pierre Duhamel, Marco Mueller
Cartography consulting: Univ-Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kretschmer
Scientific Consulting: Dr. Heidi Dumreicher, Univ-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kainz, Univ-Prof. Dr. Michael Wagreich, Univ-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weber
Scientific Research: Daniela Praher, Maria Poell, Herbert Schnepf, Fritz Hock
World map database: Lorenz Brandner
Map drawing & storyboarding: Stefan Stratil
Map coloring: Susanne Legerer, Thorsten Hoffmann
Claymation: Olivier Pesch
Animatic: Eni Brandner
2D/3D animation: Nikola Tasic, Julia Mott, Iby Jolande Varga, Reinhold Bidner, Franz Schubert
Additional 2D/3D animation: Michael Della Giustina, Stefan Köpke
Digital model makers: Michael Merkatz, Josef Just
Animation assistants 2D/3D: Surya Weihreter, Alexander Gutmann, Christoph Öhler, Darko Vidackovic
Digital composing: Salil Kolamkanny, Lilo Moser, Moritz Palnsdorfer
Vocals: Albena Evtimova, Ruth Buchli, Siegfried Friedrich, Marlene Umlauft
Double Bass & Basso Scordato: Daniel Sailer
Percussion: Peter Seher
Theremin: David Furrer
Gongs & Cymbals: Peter Conradin Zumthor
Additionnal sound engineering: Roumen Dimitrov
Re-recording mixing studio: Philophon Studios Luxembourg
ADR recording: Georg Tomandl, Jerel Bromley
ADR recording coordination: Carla Zamora
ADR recording studio: Sunshine Mastering Vienna, Outpost Studios San Francisco
Sound editing studio: Cosmix Studio Wien, Philophon Studios Luxembourg
Digital colorist: Kurt Jimmy Hennrich
Title Design: Karl Ulbl
Digital lab: Synchro Film, Listo Wien
Still photographers: Patrick Müller, Luc Ewen
Translations: Tim Sharp
Line producer: Jean-Laurent Csindis, André Fetzer
Unit manager: Philipp Reimer
Production assistants: Regina Breitfellner, Asli Ciyow, Linda Dahlem, Thoma Forgiarini, Olivia Guérin, Lisa Hasenhütl, Jonida Laci, Sophie Kirchschlager, Vera Kornmeier, Karoline Maes, Mareike Rückert, Beate Schalko, Mélanie Schons, Cornelia Selch, Laura Steffen, Carolina Steinbrecher, Hélène Walland, Astrid Wolfig
Trainees: Denys Baldelli, Damien Lemaître
Assistants to the producers: Laura Ettel, Julie Metzdorff, Christian Müller
Post production: Martin Repka, Paul Schön, Marie Lesage
Technical consultant: Martin Reinhart
Technical support: Marcus Gotzmann, Ernst Miesgang
Production administrator: Evelyne Schweizer
Controlling: Claudia Stanetty
Accountants: Désirée Thilgen, Sara Übleis, Jacqueline Wild
Tax advisors: Pablo Sanchez (Luxconcept) Petra Egger (Steirer. Mika & Comp.)
Financing: Marc Meyers, Philippe Weisen (Banque Internationale à Luxembourg)
Auditor: Marco Claude (Grant Thornton Lux-Audit)
Legal advisors: Alfred Noll, Laure Stachnik
Insurance: Media Assurances
Attaché de presse: Valentin Badura
Maps provided by: Austrian National Library, British Museum, British Library, CIA, ESA, French National Library, Jim Siebold, Library of Congress, Max Planck Institute, Mercator Edition, Museum Ebstorf, Nasa, University of Bern Library
Realised in cooperation with the Austrian research project „Cultural Landscapes” and the Austrian National Library, Johanna Rachinger, Director, Jan Mokre, Head of Map Department and Globe Museum
Produced by: Bady Minck, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Heidi Dumreicher
Supported by: Film Fund Luxembourg, Ministry of Science & Research Austria, Innovative Film Austria, ORF Film/Television-Agreement, Ministry of Life Austria, Wien Kultur
Produced by: AMOUR FOU Luxembourg
Awards & Nominations
TwoDays AnimationFilmFestival Vienna 2017 – Austria
* Asifa Award for Best Sound & Music
Docs Against Gravity Film Festival Warsaw 2017 – Poland
* Nominated for the Fiction/NonFiction Award
Sundance Film Festival 2017 – USA
* Nominated for the International Fiction Award
Sundance Film Festival – Park-City, USA
* Nominated for the International Fiction Award
19.01. – 29.01.2017
Luxembourg City Film Festival – Luxembourg
02.03. – 12.03.2017
Vilnius Film Festival – Lithuania
23.03. – 06.04.2017
Diagonale Film Festival Graz – Austria
28.03. – 02.04.2017
Docs Against Gravity Film Festival Warsaw – Poland
* Retrospective Bady Minck & Masterclass
* Nominated for the Fiction/NonFiction Competition
12.05. – 22.05.2017
DotDotDot Open Air Film Festival Vienna – Austria
* Retrospective Bady Minck
04.07. – 01.09.2017
Linoleum Animation Film Festival Kiew – Ukraine
* Retrospective Bady Minck, Masterclass & Jury-President
27.09. – 01.10.2017
TwoDays AnimationFilmFestival Vienna – Austria
* Asifa Award for Best Sound & Music for MappaMundi
22. – 23.11.2017
Filmshow Greater Region Saarbruecken – Germany
* Retrospective Bady Minck
08.11. – 16.12.2017
K3 Film Festival Villach / Udine / Ljubljana
13.12. – 17.12.2017
Sunset Kino @ Salzburger Kunstverein – Austria
Earthly Mutations. Films from the near Future
July – August 2018
Filmcasino Wien, Austria
*Vienna Theatrical Premiere
MappaMundi or This film will change your life.
This film will change your life. That’s not a joke. And if it doesn’t change your life it will at least change your point of view.
In her docu-fiction film MappaMundi, which was premiered at the prestigious SUNDANCE Film Festival, Bady Minck engages with the human view of the world, the globe, the ‘blue planet’ and the history of humankind.
Her view comes from outside, represented by three cosmic cartographers, intelligent beings—gender unspecified—who travel through space and time in a kind of pulsating DNA tube. Suddenly they receive a message: ‘perceiving pulsations’. They approach the blue planet emotionlessly but with professional curiosity and attempt to analyse and establish contact with it: ‘What is your identification code?’. How insulting. ‘I am the earth. Terra – for my friends. I don’t need identification codes’
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The cartographers accept this self-confidence rooted, as it is, in infinitude. ‘Terra, do you see us?’ The earth, heading towards the cartographers replies with an erotic voice laden with joyful sensuality – ‘Here – I – am!’. It begins to relate to the gaze from outside. The cosmic surveyors’ interest has been piqued: ‘Play back blue planet’s history’. And at this point a journey begins 700 million years in the past and is humorously narrated by the earth itself. ‘For the last few years I have had to deal with some kind of parasite.’ Homo sapiens has been born. Sentences like this create a distance that enables the audience to understand just how fleeting human existence is and how intentionally ideological their self-image is.
Bady Minck spent months researching maps of the world, their origins and geopolitical backgrounds. ‘Take a look under my skin,’ the earth offers. One of the first maps appears, found incised in stone in the Ukraine and dated 13,000 years before our time. Two-dimensional representations of a multi-dimensional world. ‘Well, this is how they made portraits of me 15 000 years ago,’ is Terra’s laconic commentary.
The maps represent the limited (if not closed) horizons of their makers. They show what the principals knew and what they wanted to let other people know. They show who ruled and who can be ruled. They reflect philosophical points of view and make it clear that there really are many different ways of seeing the world centred on where one is at any given point in time. One learns that the word ‘orientation’ derives from the alignment of the map and churches towards Jerusalem – the ORIENT. Whoever is disoriented is simply looking in a non- Christian – and later non-Moslem – direction. Irrespective of whether countries surround the sea or the sea washes the shores of a country, maps also always serve military and commercial interests. Maps from the time of the Roman Empire make that quite clear. In contrast, Buddhist maps do not differentiate between humans, earth and the universe. For Islamic maps of the early medieval period, Mecca is the centre. Countries are conquered – or is it the other way round ‘America discovers Columbus’? Naturally, the American continent was always there. And so, in Bady Minck’s film a sea monster spits out a man sailing under the Spanish flag onto the unknown continent.
Bady Minck uses the historical material with a great deal of verve and humour and in doing so clarifies an interesting circumstance: the more knowledge that humans accumulate about the earth, the narrower their view of it. ‘Separation lines – called borders.’ Once again the earth protests, rejecting human claims of ownership of the planet: ‘I have no lines on my body’. From here on they begin to take an increasingly cosmic perspective, withdrawing from the blue planet, regarding it from the universe, from a great distance, in its infinite beauty. Until the cartographers receive a hazard warning that the view of earth has become obscured by dirt. Digital dirt is literally taking the earth’s breath away. We have arrived in the present. ‘Fast forward time,’ command the cartographers. Thousands and thousands of years later the earth is uninhabited and can breath again. In an aged voice the earth insists on the unassailable truth: ‘I have no lines on my body’. And it moves towards a cosmic vortex that consumes it. It races through this DNA tube of time and space at high speed.
The end of the cosmic frenzy is of breath-taking beauty that is touching and poetic and has a certain elegance at a time when questions about the future of humans and the earth seem to be unanswerable. We leave the cinema feeling weightless, immersed in infinity, consoled and heartened. Those who have understood leave changed.
In Bady Minck’s new film the history of the blue planet runs by in time lapse and from the perspective of cosmic cartographers. ‘MappaMundi’ is a fascinating tour through the cartographic history of the world – and about the complex phenomenon of depicting the world.
One is reminded of the old joke in which the earth complains to a friendly planet – ‘I don’t feel very well. I’ve got humans’. The friendly planet answers – ‘Don’t worry. It’ll pass’. In Bady Minck’s film, MappaMundi, millions of years of earth’s history flash by before the audience’s eyes. Following Im Anfang war der Blick, Bady Minck is once again concerned with the subject of depicting the world. Now it is with maps of parts of the earth and the whole world that permit us to have in-depth insights into cultural history and the complicated relationship of humans to the spaces around them.
The history of the blue planet unrolls in animated time lapse and seen from the perspective of the cosmic cartographers. This allows us to recognise a single constant: perpetual change. It is with astonishment that the extraterrestrial visitors follow humanity’s pathways from the heart of Africa out over the world, overcoming even ice and oceans. What the cosmic cartographers are most interested in, however, are human ‘orientation tools’.
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MappaMundi is a fascinating, multi-layered tour through thousands of years of cartographic history of the earth. An enthralling contrast arises between the slowly-growing subjective experience of the world from below and the neutral overview of extraterrestrial visitors, also in relation to the fourth dimension.
In the end the world refuses to be arbitrarily subjected to cartographic divisions, the drawing of borders by its parasites. The cosmic visitors have an easier time of it here: with fast forward they leave the anthropocene behind them.
Seen from space the planet earth is a blue-green ball set against a hundred million galaxies. There are, perhaps, 100 000 000 000 galaxies and in every fifth one there might be a planet similar to our earth, peopled by beings who may be similar to us. If these beings would set off on an interstellar quest looking for a star with characteristics similar to their home planet, they might encounter the earth. In Bady Minck’s film, MappaMundi, the blue planet is not one object among others but a living organism. In the 1960s Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock formulated the Gaia hypothesis which may well have become self-evident for present-day scientists. It proposes that the planet, together with its biosphere should be considered analogous to a living organism. The biosphere consists of complex interactions between the inorganic and the organic that creates a dynamic, self-organizing system. In the anthropocene era humans – now around six billion of us – have become the most important factor for the biological, geological and atmospheric processes on earth.
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In Bady Minck’s MappaMundi the astronauts, humanoid, vegetal-technoid beings, are able to use their advanced technology to have the blue planet converse with. It tells of how, after a long period of geological and biological evolution it has become infected with a species that is trying to domesticate the body of the planet and has contaminated it with artifacts.
Bady Minck’s extra-planetary research team follows the long slow rise of the species homo sapiens by means of maps. All living things have the ability to orientate, from single-cell anaerobic microorganisms upwards. All of them have to orientate themselves in their own environment but only humans are in the position of being able to develop an abstract conception of the world with the aid of signs and language. In other words, to draw maps. The earliest map artifacts that the interplanetary team can retrieve from the planet’s memory come from the Ukraine and Idaho and are dated 13,000 and 10,000 B.C. The rocks with incised lines show landscapes and routes that were vital for early Paleolithic peoples. A map, drawn with raddle on a rock in the settlement of Çatal Hüyük in Turkey – the first large human settlement with urban characteristics – is six thousand years younger. It is estimated that around 7000 B.C. approximately 10,000 people lived in Çatal Hüyük and the raddle sketch is something approximating a plan of the city.
Is a map the portrait of the planet? The ‘animated’ protagonist of MappaMundi is against being portrayed by strokes and lines. But humans continually develop increased abilities to convey their internal visualizations of routes, houses, important landmarks, mountains and rivers using schematic lines. Travelers drawing maps do so not only for themselves but as a means of communication with other travelers. The Bronze-age maps found in Egypt, Jordan, Friesland or Italy allow the deduction that they were for use by travelers. Perhaps Abraham, the Biblical forefather of all travelers, used maps like these. With the help of their time machine, the interplanetary researchers continually uncover new maps for the screen. The increase in the number of maps corresponds to the increase in opportunities for travel which in turn corresponds with the increase in enduring urban structures. So it is no wonder that the first real road maps come from the Roman Empire. The tabula Peutingeriana shows the network of roads in the later period of the ancient Roman Empire that stretched from the British Isles down through the Mediterranean region and Middle East as far as India and Central Asia and indicating the existence of China at the edge of the map. The maps of medieval Christianity and Islam agree because both partake of the Ptolemaic world. The earth is the centre of the planetary system and is a disc surrounded by the waters of Oceanus. Step by step travelers and their cartographers feel their way forward – in China and Korea too – continuously producing new versions of Mappae Mundi. These maps were not aligned with the north pole, as are present-day maps, but towards the east, where the sun rises. Political maps, marking the extent of territorial sovereignty, only started to be drawn in the Late Medieval period and then, of course, during the so-called Age of Discovery. From then on the concern is with spheres of influence, trade routes, cartographies of domination and subjugation, and the number and frequency of maps produced increases. Commensurate with this pattern the political world maps made by the CIA are shown too. And the blue planet resists these just as it rejects the increasing rubbishing of the biosphere. In an extreme fast-forward of time the blue planet finally disappears into the infinity of galactic pulsations.
One might read MappaMundi as a portent if one only read the closing credit where we are informed that the film is based on a true story. The ironic reassurance that no planet was hurt in the making of the film shows, however, that the director is taking advantage of a certain play in the tension of events. Whatever the case, the film crew, along with the audience, belong to the species that has infected the blue planet like an illness. It may, however, be capable of learning. We can but hope.
MappaMundi can be seen as a filmic statement about the anthropocene. The maps which humanity has drawn in the last fifteen thousand years are connected with a story of increasingly dense settlement and increasingly intense exploitation of the blue planet qualifies humans for the category of troublesome vermin. Bady Minck approaches the history of the blue planet from an intergalactic perspective. Map after map is revealed by an advanced technology in the hands of the extraterrestrial visitors. The earliest of these originates in the early Stone Age. The most recent has been provided by the CIA and covers the present global political situation. With the aid of a very impressive historical procession of thousands of human cartographic sketches – which not only come from Europe, but also from Islamic cultures, China and Korea – the importance of these maps for the current world situation slowly becomes clear. Maps serve as orientation and communication between travelers. Something that was unproblematic in the early Stone Age becomes in the anthropocene another step closer to the destruction of the blue planet. People of the early Stone Age had very few indestructible artifacts. In contrast, towards the end of the film, gadgets of all kinds, predominantly made of plastic, tumble onto the blue planet which reacts explosively. The audience, themselves something like a film crew and all of whom belong to the human species are drawn into the rapid future mutation of the blue planet as if in a time machine – until the planet and its extraterrestrial visitors disappear into an infinite vortex of galaxies.