Die letzten Tage (The Last Days)
(2018; Colour; Video; 81min)
- in German and English, with English Subtitles
A documentary about the last days
of an emergency refugee center in a small town in Germany, *Die
letzten tage* is a quiet film about some of the ordinary, and
fragile acts and experiences that create refuge.
In 2015-16, close to a million refugees entered Germany following
Chancellor Angela Merkel's dramatic announcement 'Wir schaffen
das' (We can do it!), that enabled an "open border"
policy and Wilkommenskultur towards refugees fleeing
wars in Syria and other parts of the world.
In small towns like St. Andreasberg,
populations doubled overnight as
emergency refugee centers were opened to accommodate the endless
But when we began filming at the
ASB (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund) St.
Andreasberg refugee center in the summer of 2016, the moment
arrival with all its uncertainty, panic, and expectation had
The Last Days is a film about
an interminable wait for the eventual
closure of the center. As ASB workers learn to pack and dismantle
furniture, and trucks for "Catastrophe Management"
carry away unused goods,
eight German social workers share their memories and stories
moments spent with the refugees.
At one level, Die Letzten Tage
is a documentary with absurdist overtones.
At another level, it is a poignant reminder of a remarkable
open borders and new beginnings seemed a real possibility.
Produced and Directed by Lalit Vachani
Camera and Co-direction: Olli Becker
Editing and Script: Lalit Vachani
Post-Production Audio/Sound Mix: Jochen Jezussek
Color Grading/Post-production Video: Stefan Engelkamp
Additional Camera: Lalit Vachani
Additional Editing: Olli Becker
Translations: Laila Friese, Olli Becker
Co-produced by CeMIS - the Centre for Modern Indian Studies
at the University of Göttingen, Germany
A Lalit Vachani/Wide Eye Film, 2018