Debutfilm: „ Elisabeth Hohenstein“
A 48 minute Documentary by Christiane Müller.
For more than 50 years Mrs Hohenstein lived as a Housekeeper in an Old-Berlin Block of Flats. At the age of 94 she was still looking after herself in a 2 room apartment. But the next winter is just around the corner, the coal oven would have to be stoked and the journey to the outside lavatory was becoming ever more strenuous.
So she makes the difficult decsion to go into a old-folks home. But which one, which type, and where is there a free place?
It takes a whole half year from late summer 2003 to early 2004 until she can move. Christiane Müller goes with her on a journey of rememberance and documents this period of waiting.
What does it feel like to live alone at that age? The only real contact with the outside world is when she´s on her Balcony – watching children playing or people going about their business.
„I´m only as stupid now as I ever was“ she says with that typical Berln humour. And it´s this humour that has been her constant companion throughout the years.
She moved in Feburary 2004. The landlady comes with flowers. She was just a child as Mrs Hohenstein used to clean the stairs. Mrs Hohensteins Great Nice also comes with her daughter and some friends of the family. They would go shopping for her once a week and would help with the move.
„I don´t regret anything“. She arrives in the home for the elderly and soon is celebrating her 95th birthday. She looks happy and, with her humour, brings some colour into the monotony of life in such a home. At their Annual Summer party in 2006 she sings along with the old tunes.
Elisabeth Hohenstein dies on the 14.09.2006.
The average time spent in an old folks home is 2,5 years.
Her ashes were interred anonymonsly. The undertakers neglected to inform the family members.
Two years since the cremation, the family is still owned a proper burial service.