Sven Johne, 2023

Das sowjetische Hauptquartier

In Das sowjetische Hauptquartier (The Soviet Headquarters) we accompany real estate agent Becker (Marc Zwinz) and the presumed investor Katharina Baronn (Luise Helm) on a tour of the former (cultural) headquarters of the Western Group of the Soviet armed forces in Germany. The enchanted, neo-baroque property—the Haus der Offiziere (House of Officers)—is located in Wünsdorf, Brandenburg, East Germany.

Becker explains the advantages of the estate eloquently and initially in a good mood, sketching out bold images for its future use as a hotel complex or as a place for "wellness and culture". However, it soon becomes clear that he is under enormous pressure "from above". He absolutely has to sell the property today, apparently after numerous failed attempts. But his counterpart, Katharina Baronn, remains strangely monosyllabic. She reacts almost curtly to his grandiose promises.

As the tour progresses, Becker becomes increasingly desperate and descends into increasingly crude motivational rhetoric. Baronn follows him, lost in thought, but at some point an inner monologue begins and she takes us on a journey into the past: this Katharina Baronn is not an investor, she just snuck in here. In the early 1990s, she was a child in the "House of Officers". The Russians had not yet left. Baronn describes a time capsule to us: the Soviet Union simply continued to exist here in this dilapidated building until 1994.

Baronn does not hide the fact that these memories are deeply engraved. There is this pleasant longing for childhood. Both Baronn and Becker are children of their early influences, their ideologies in East and West. At the end of the film, they find each other in a poetic way.

Register (FL//077)

Das sowjetische Hauptquartier
Sven Johne
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
3840px x 2160px, 32'57"