“Shaping personal and geographical history into sun-drenched dollops, the Brinkmann fashions a charmingly quirky guide to his island home." - Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

“You'll have the melancholy sensation that you're watching something which is disappearing even as you see it. It is a last relic of an empire in an age when empires all around the world are crumbling to dust. Brinkmann paints a portrait of a beguiling ghost.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“A reflective, calming meditation” – Peter Martin, Screen Anarchy

For Berliners, the Baltic island of Usedom was once the most luxurious destination for excursions within striking distance of the city. This is where imperial Germany’s grand health resorts of Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck were built. Heinz Brinkmann, who was born in Heringsdorf, traces the eventful history of his island. He talks about the magnificent villas on Europe’s longest beach promenade, about the expulsion of Jewish citizens by the Nazis and about Usedom being split into a German and a Polish half after the Second World War. During the GDR era, most of the spa architecture remained intact because of the lack of  means to build something new. Since the fall of the Wall, however, investors have been trying  to replace it with indistinguishable luxury residences.

Brinkmann also asks people about conservation and change. We hear from the mayor, infuriated by the architectural eyesores of recent years, a farmer who bought an island in the Achterwasser lagoon for his organic cattle, a Polish hotel manager and other bridge builders between the two countries. Brinkmann also quotes from his own 1992 USEDOM film and compares the plans of his former protagonists with today’s reality. A discursive tour through a fractured paradise. (Big World Pictures) 

Festivals, Awards & Nominations

Official Selection - Leipzig International Documentary Film Week; Lübeck Nordic Film Days; International Film Festival Bombay; Petersburg International Film Festival

For the safety and comfort of our audience members and employees, we will have the following safety protocols in place for at least the first two weeks after we reopen:

  • Masks required by all staff and patrons at all times
  • Staggered showtimes and ample time between shows to mitigate crowds
  • Ticket pre-orders for films encouraged to reduce lines 
  • Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks available for patrons
  • Only 50% of our tickets will be available for sale so that we can ensure a safe movie-going experience
  • In light of the latest health updates from the city of Chicago, and in accordance with the School of the Art Institute, we will not be selling concessions nor allowing outside food or drink for at least the first two weeks of business. 
  • We will, however, hand out a FREE small popcorn to those who show proof of COVID vaccination, as a “parting gift” when you exit the theater. 
  • If you are feeling unwell or have a fever, please stay home and stream films until you feel better

Note: protocols are subject to change, per new or evolving information.