The River Used to Be a Man
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    The River Used to Be a Man

    Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch

    Directed by

    Germany

    2011

    80 min

    • English

    Drama

    A young German travels through a country in Africa. He meets an old fisherman near a river, who takes him deep into the wilderness in his wooden boat.
    The next morning he finds himself alone in the middle of an endless delta. Here his intimate battle with death, his fears and perceptions of the outside world begins. After days of drifting through the wilderness, he arrives in a very isolated village, far away from civilization. But his odyssey is not over yet. His continuous loss of control leads him further into a world far beyond his own comprehension.
    The young director Jan Zabeil and his actor Alexander Fehling launch themselves into the abyss of being a stranger in a foreign world.

    Awards

    • Kutxa Award, New Directors Section, San Sebastian FF
    • Audience Award / International Competition, Jeonju IFF

    Credits

    Cast
    Alexander Fehling
    Sariqo Sakega
    Obusentswe Deamar Manyma
    Babotsa Sax'twee
    Nx'apa Motswai
    Screenplay
    Jan Zabeil
    Alexander Fehling
    Cinematography
    Jakub Bejnarowicz
    Editing
    Florian Miosge
    Production
    ROHFILM GMBH

    Press

    ...fits loosely in the tradition of past solo-survival tales from "The Naked Prey" through "Into the Wild" and "127 Hours," but with a more detached, cerebral approach that is intriguing...

    Variety

    Jan Zabeil

    Jan Zabeil

    Germany

    Jan Zabeil was born in Berlin and studied cinematography at the University of Film and Television in Potsdam. His short films include L.H.O. (07) and WAS WEISS DERTROPFEN DAVON (07). THE RIVER USED TO BE A MAN (11) is his first feature film.

    Selected Filmography