Advent Calendar 17 – “Deutschboden”

Hey everyone,

one quick thing first… yesterday ended up being quite the  let down for many of you because you weren’t able to actually download the book. Sorry for that!! I got in touch with Janine and asked her if I can share the pdf here.
So stay tuned.

But now let’s get to door number 17 and today, I want to give you a movie recommendation for


“Deutschboden” is a feature length documentary-movie about life in a small town in East Germany around the year 2000 and it’s

absolutely amazing

One of my favorite movies, probably. Seriously, I just randomly found that on TV a while back while zapping and I was immediately taken in. And afterwards I was really really excited and I still am to this day.

The whole thing is based on a book by Moritz von Uslar. He’s a contemporary writer from Berlin and he moved to a small town in Brandenburg for 3 months and tried to really settle in and make friends with the people. He wrote a kind of diary about this experience and then the state funded television decided to make a movie-documentary loosely based on that book. They kind of re-did the experiment, just with a camera team around this time. So it’s a blend between movie and documentary.

Why is it so great?
Well, many reasons.
The author himself stars in the movie, so he plays himself. He reads parts of his book as off camera narration and unlike many authors he really knows how to read his own stuff. He has a great voice, he has acting talent, and his writing is up-beat and fluffy but not annoying. Oh and he has quite the lisp, which makes the whole thing sooo much more human than a professionally trained narrator.
Also, there’s great visuals and the soundtrack is amazing and really fits the imagery.
But most important is the  humanity of the whole movie. It doesn’t judge, it doesn’t excuse, it doesn’t “showcase” anyone. It really just shows the life of the people and gets very close to them. You’re there when they’re doing band rehearsal (cringe), you’re there when they talk about how they used to do “stupid stuff” (as in Neo Nazi stuff)  in their youth, you get to hang with them at the gas station, you’re in the car when they’re driving down the bike lane in the forest at night with no lights on. And you’re there when they get  their eye brows tweaked, because, yes… they know metro-sexual :).
Bottom line… it has great cinematography, great soundtrack, it’s funny, it sometimes makes you go like “Da’ F… did he really just say that?!?!”  and it LOVES the people it portraits. Because they’re human beings.
And that makes it really, really, really great.

I hope you can tell that I’m really excited about this but hey… words, shmords… let’s just watch the trailer:



And if you’re curious… well, why don’t you just win the movie :).
That’s right. It’s the 4th of Advent and so

I’m giving away 3 DVDs of “Deutschboden”


Here’s what you have to do:

Write a poem with the following words in it:
Weihnacht, Schnee, Bier, Kleinstadt, Gitarre, Einhornfuchs.

It doesn’t need to be perfect, it doesn’t need to make sense, it doesn’t need to rhyme… heck… it doesn’t even have to be completely in German. But… ALL words must be in it!
“Ugh… so much work, Emanuel.” 
Yeah, it is a bit of work. But if you don’t want to do it, then you don’t really want to have the DVD ;).

Now, if you’re not sure whether it’s worth the effort (and for those who don’t win), I actually found a 30 minute version of the 90 minute movie online. And I don’t even  think it’s illegal. So here’s the link:

Watch 30 minutes of Deutschboden (planet-schule)

And of course, you can also buy the DVD or the book or the audiobook,  if you want, so here are the links:

Now, I’m curious what you think? Did you like the trailer? What impression did you get from a small town in Brandenburg? Was it how you pictured Germany? Have you seen the documentary by any chance (it was on TV a couple of times)?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And your poems of course, if you want to win a DVD.
Schönen Tag euch und bis morgen :)

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4 years ago

First impression of the clip of the video: “Good ‘ol boys who would vote for Trump”. Second impression, the town is so tidy. I could understand some of the spoken words, but I will miss a lot, so without untertitles, I am inclined not to watch it. Better off with traditional studying.

4 years ago

I forgot the most important part: I watched the 30 minute version of Deutschboden and will watch it again. I heard words and phrases when I listened (not just ‘noise’) but found the speech was too quick for my ear. I didn’t have time to process what I’d heard before the narration and conversation had moved on. I got a feel for the place from the visuals though and understood some of the language. I will definitely re-visit the film–I’m assuming that the more I listen, the more the pieces will fall into place!

Charlie Joe
Charlie Joe
4 years ago

Wo ist meinen Adventskalender in der Post? Bleibe ich auf der Liste?

4 years ago

Mein versuch.
Wohin gehst du am Weihnachten ? Gehst du mit Einhornfuchs Skifahren ? :D

Ich wollte die Gitarre spielen
Ich konnte aber das nicht machen.
Ein Einhornfuchs trank ganzes Bier,
Und dann ging er im Zimmer schlafen.

An Weihnacht gehe ich zum Berg,
In der schönste Kleinstadt,
Ich zeige Einhornfuchs der Schnee,
Dann spielen wir Gitarre die ganze Nacht.

4 years ago

Einhornfuchs mist is what I meant – dunno how that morphed into one word! The poems above are really impressive and funny! Can’t wait to read more! Really enjoyed the 30 min clip of the film – I like his style. I worked as a TV-producer and cameraman for longer than I care to admit (considering I only turn 29 every year…) and he’s someone I’d really like to work with! (Never end a sentence in a preposition, they said. But, “he’s someone with whom I’d really like to work” – c’mon, who talks like that?).

Anna Elfenbein
Anna Elfenbein
4 years ago

Hier ist mein Versuch:

An der Weihnachtszeit in einer schoenen Kleinstadt
Mit einem Bier und meiner blauen Gitarre,
Singe ich vom Schnee von Gestern und dem goldenen Einhornfuchs
Der einmal hier fremd, frei, und froehlich wuchs.
Damals zitierte er: “Nimmer mehr(e).” “Nimmer mehr(e).”

Shannon Skilton
Shannon Skilton
4 years ago

Fast Weihnacht(en) in der kleinstadt Q Cove
Ich hab’ stundenlang Schnee geschaufelt.
Jetzt mache ich Pause
und trinke ein weihnachliches Bier
*(ich bin ja Kanadierin)
In der Ferne,denke ich, höre ich Musik …
es klingt wie Gitarrenmusik.
Flocke für verdammte Flocke
der Schnee fällt weiter
im Rhythmus der Gitarre.
Ich trinke mehr Bier–
Plötzlich wird der Schnee schön
Plötzlich ist die ganze Welt schön
und ich bin auch schön.
Ich trinke noch ein Bier
und in der Ferne sehe ich einen Einhornfuchs.
Er hält eine Gitarre und lächelt mich an
während Schnee fällt weiter

Shannon Skilton
Shannon Skilton
4 years ago

Any questionable grammar is, if course, “poetic licence”!

Shannon Skilton
Shannon Skilton
4 years ago

I watched the 30 minute version of Deutscboden. The tempo of speech was too quick for me to be able to follow all of it. I heard distinct words and phrases, but didn’t have time to process them all before the convo moved on. The visuals gave me the ‘feel’ of the piece and I will definitely revisit it. I’m assuming the more listening I do, the sooner everything will fall into place.

4 years ago


Ich denke vielleicht, “Nur einmal pro Jahr”


4 years ago

Mein “Gedicht” :

Nur einmal pro Jahre,
Es gibt die Zeit meine Gitarre zu spielen,
Und sogar besser,
Weihnacht im Schnee,
Draußen die Lämmer mit den Einhornfüchsen aneinander liegen,
Drinnen das Bier ist dunkel und tröstlich.
Immer wieder die Kleinstadt leuchtete.

Dichter bin ich nicht!
Bitte – Entschuldigen Sie meine Grammatik.

4 years ago

Zu allen ein fröhlich Weihnacht
In Großstadt oder Kleinstadt
Mit Schnee, Gitarre, und Einhornfüchse
Und eine Menge von Bier.

4 years ago

Tut mir leid. Ist ja Quatsch.

4 years ago

Ich lebe ja schon in einem Kleinstadt
Die sicher einhornfuchs worden benannt wäre
Aber Weihnacht kommt bald und auch Schnee wie versprochen
Also Spiele ich erst Gitarre und danach trinke Bier.

4 years ago

HAhaHA – what an unruly Einhornfuchs! TeeHee!

4 years ago

Da war ein kleiner Mann aus einer Kleinstadt,
der Bier trank und Gitarre spielte.
Zu Weihnacht war er einen Einhornfuchs geschankt,
das trank sein Bier, spielte seine Gitarre und Scheiße im Schnee.

4 years ago

Here goes:

Es gibt’s eine Kleinstadt in Deutschland
In der Schnee fällt wie Einhornsfuchsmist
Hier spielt man das Bier
Und Trinkt die Gitarre
Und zu Weihnachten essen man nichts.

Luckily, the criteria clearly stated that it need not be perfect or rhyme. Or make sense.

May I make a wish? If the Advent Calendar could be posted as one long scrollable thread (without having to click on “see more”) or a window where all the doors were visible, labeled with each heading, that would be great! Many of the doors lend themselves well to being read again – like the frieren one, for instance. Trying to knock all this info in my head would be easier if it were all in a search-friendly format. Somewhere. Like a separate category under Word of the Day, for instance.