Rabbits À La Berlin
Germany, Poland, 2009.
It is an important lesson of history that a system of order intended to produce one result will often give birth to something entirely unexpected. So it was with the Berlin Wall, which was, in fact, two separate walls, one on the east and one on the west, with a 120 metre area of land in-between them. The enclosed patch was unintentionally converted into a kind of rabbit reserve since the walls encircled the lush green meadows of Potsdamer Platz and cut its rabbit population off from both escape and predators. But then one day the walls came down and the rabbits were suddenly freed from a restrictive system, albeit one to which they had become accustomed. Told in the style of a nature documentary, with a captivatingly dreamy tone and a tongue-in-cheek nod to the story’s allegorical significance, Rabbit à la Berlin provides a fascinating history lesson told through the eyes of animals.
This is the first time that cute fluffy bunnies have been used as a reference to East Germans, or by-default-communists, in a blatant metaphor of the days behind the Iron Curtain. And it works with both cunning and charm. Rabbits à la Berlin (original title, Mauerhase, literal translation “Wall Bunny”) was conceived and written by Polish director Bartek Konopka and cameraman Piotr Rosolowski. The pictorial documentary traces the last 50 years of Eastern European history, from the end of WWII, to the transition into communism, and the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall.
When one cannot in uence the world, one begins to grow apathetic…even if the one is a rabbit.