Documentary with english and also french subtitles available about carnival in Germany. It is fascinating to see the emotions brought forth by Fastnacht. For some it is the most wonderful time of the year while others have an almost allergic reaction to it. But what is the reason for this? This ethnological documentary gives insight and promotes discussions about the true meaning of Fastnacht. The french canadian director sheds new light on an old swabian alemannic tradition. Not only fastnacht enthusiasts but even more so, those who want to know what fastnacht is will appreciate this film.
“Of Jesters and Witches...” is an ethnological documentary about one of the most important traditions in southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria: the swabian-alemannic Fastnacht. The film anchors it's story in characters strongly involved, each in their own way, in shaping the face of Fastnacht in upper Swabia. There is space for history, social reflexions, songs, wit, conflicts, anecdotes, friendship, beautiful costumes and of course, plenty of strong opinions.
Opposing tradition and modernism, the film unlocks the reasons for the passion driving the protagonists. Conflicting views, unite behind a common cause: the urge to perpetuate Fastnacht across generations to come.
Danièle Bellemare Lee was alien to this tradition before she embarked on her seven year long journey, to find out what is behind all this devotion; learning to seize the essence of a custom for which scholars never stop to develop new theories. Thanks to her impartial vantage point she shows Fastnacht in a condensed and amusing way. 115 minutes.
With: Jürgen Hohl, Klaus Müller, Andreas Reutter, Maria Hipp, Martin Hipp, Christoph Stehle, Rudolph Hämmerle, Markus Würstle, Andreas Bachmann.
Music: Nancy Carney, Thomas Frick, Johannes Kayser, Sylvie Payette.
Director: Daniele Bellemare Lee, assistant Mark Lee