Video Mosaic Hamburg, Rio, Tokyo

In Munich, the young filmmakers also caught up with Freddie Mercury
In Munich, the young filmmakers also caught up with Freddie Mercury | Screenshot: Goethe-Institut

Three minutes, that’s all. That was the only rule. That was the time young journalists from around the world had to portray their cities. The result: 180 Seconds City, a diversified film journey from Montréal to Tokyo. The first season is about space and time.

Dietmar Holzapfel is the proprietor of the Deutsche Eiche restaurant, which he and his husband operate. Deutsche Eiche (German Oak) is part of the traditional gay scene surrounding Gärtnerplatz in Munich. Holzapfel relates how the quarter has changed since the 1980s when even Freddie Mercury lived here for a while. One good example for the changing scene is the Paradiso Bar; “today it’s more hetero,” Holzapfel says. It once was called Old Mrs. Henderson and was Mercury’s second home.

The snapshot from Munich is one of the 16 first contributions to the project. Where is the city a hectic place? Where can you find peace and quiet? In the first season of 180 Seconds City, the filmmakers seek out places that resist the rapid changes of the city. We travel upwards in a lift and underground on the Metro. The young filmmakers accompany their protagonists to where the day begins and where the night never ends.

After a night in a capsule hotel in Tokyo, we can visit the art restorer Jorge at the Reina Sofía in Madrid, take a walk through Kolkata’s streets and to Hamburg’s harbour. And what is the secret around Saul, the owner of the last sewing machine shop in Montréal? Put together, the filmic anecdotes from sixteen cities create a colourful mosaic, a global snapshot of the city. The German films from Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Leipzig were produced by graduates of the Deutsche Journalistenschule, the international films by the Internet editors of the local Goethe-Instituts. The makers were free to choose how to portray their cities. The only rule was they had to do it in 180 seconds.

To the web portal 180 Seconds City To the web portal 180 Seconds City | Screenshot: Goethe-Institut