Whilst the results usually take longer to settle, one of the most fruitful approaches to documentary filmmaking is to merely observe. To create a situation where the camera is as non-invasive as possible and simply capture events taking place without direction or interference. The great Frederick Wiseman has shown the immersive power of this medium in creating insights.
Stadtallendorf, North Hesse has a complicated relationship with immigration. The industrial town played a major role in World War II and has continued to support a number of large factories. These require a lot of workers, a quarter of whom are foreign. In the local school, Mr Bachmann’s class reflects this. Comprising of a group of youngsters from diverse backgrounds. His job is to equip them for high school.
Mr Bachmann and his Class follows his unorthodox teaching style as he tries to help these young minds integrate into a new society. He focusses on allowing them to maintain their differences, but also finding common ground. Maria Speth’s film is fascinating to watch. Bachmann’s unusual methods rub up against the often-harsh realities his pupils find themselves in, but the importance of the work he’s doing can’t be understated.
Mr Bachmann and his Class is out in cinemas from 9 December.