I felt somehow guilty. After all, the bomb that destroyed his house came from my homeland, the USA.”
—Rick Minnich, Director
What does it feel like to live atop hundreds of bombs which could explode at any moment? Such is the daily life of the 43,000 citizens of Oranienburg, on the northern outskirts of Berlin.
The center of Nazi efforts to build an atomic bomb, Oranienburg became the target of the heaviest single Allied bombing of World War II. During the last months of the war Allied planes dropped more than 10,000 bombs on the small town. Hundreds of them never detonated, and more than 300 of them are estimated to be buried beneath the town. Five have exploded spontaneously since 1990 as their long-delayed fuses deteriorated. The rest could go off at any moment.
Now, seventy years later, the town’s charismatic mayor, his intrepid bomb disposal experts and a bomb-victim are joining forces to rid their home of these deadly bombs before they go off. The bomb removal project is set to go on until 2030.
Run time: 52 minutes; German with English Subtitles
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Rick Minnich is an American independent filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany. He received his B.A. in English from Columbia University and an MFA equivalent in film directing from the Film University “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany. Rick’s other award-winning films include: HEAVEN ON EARTH (50 min., 2001, IDFA, Fipa d’Or Biarritz), HOMEMADE HILLBILLY JAM (80 min, 2005, Premiere at HotDocs, opening night film Hot Springs 2005, closing night film True/False 2006, distributed by First Run Features), FORGETTING DAD (84 min, 2008, Premiere: IDFA – Special Jury Award, True/False, Full Frame, Hot Docs, It’s All True, Grand Jury Prize at GZ DOC in Guangzhou, China, Shortlisted for the German Film Award ‘Lola’ – German Oscar, released theatrically in Germany). Rick Minnich’s films have screened at film festivals, in theaters and on television on every continent except Antarctica. Rick happily passes on his more than twenty years of filmmaking experience to emerging filmmakers at MET Film School Berlin and at film workshops worldwide.