Dhe world as it might be, at least the German one, could be imagined like this, for example: a bus stop in Brandenburg. Why not. Looks a bit like Mies van der Rohe designed it on a bad day and not finished.
At a turning hammer (caution: symbol) in Havelland. End of the upgraded route. A lot of area around it. Lantern, concrete rubbish bin, blooming somewhere, that gives hope, sometimes the gorse is timid and brave.
Wind turbines turn in the wind far away. There are two men who love each other and have half a century of history behind them and in their faces. Kathrin occasionally comes by with the bus and turns around. And there is also a dog called Maik who only hears when he wants to.
Actually nothing and actually everything happens. Had the Grimme Prize Oliver Bukowskis The series “Waiting for a bus” almost got it last year. And the German Television Award. The eight-part series from RBB, which has already made it to Netflix, but still not on ARD’s linear television, would have deserved both.
So they are just the public broadcasters. The “Tatortreiniger” (also completely available on Netflix) – rabulistic brother in the spirit of our two Brandenburgers Hannes and Ralle – they didn’t take seriously for a long time.
We don’t give up, we don’t
Now the “waiting for a bus” continues. And it remains the best that could happen to German television at the moment. They cycle back to the edge of Neu Falkenrehde – the film was shot there, four kilometers as the crow flies from the Potsdam Golf Club. The Ralle, long-term unemployed, dry opencast mining engineer without opencast mining, and Hannes, disabled horticultural architect without a garden.
Budding people who are left behind who do not want to give up, neither their own life nor their own thinking. Somehow proud they sit there and talk and argue and throw up and throw themselves up. And incidentally negotiate everything that has happened since they were little, what is currently happening over at Ami’s in Grünheide and around the world.
Coming from sticks to sticks. Wedge and hug again. Every episode ends well as every adventure from Asterix and Obelix ends well, of which Ronald Zehrfeld (who is Hannes) and Felix Kramer (who is Ralle) have a lot.
Once, for example, Ralle wrote an application to Hannes. For the Tesla plant. Has he granted him the job. And yet again not. They talk about what would change if the good times at the bus stop were over.
You quote Hesses “Stages”, are ready “in bravery and without grief / in others to give themselves new bonds”. And yet again not.
Ralle has prepared a cooler bag with sandwiches and grain. Hannes leaves them there. Should be steaks at the Ami’s. Ralle eats everything up. The bottle with the grain becomes a challenge.
You just can’t get enough of what Zehrfeld and Kramer do together. They have known each other for decades, one more or less brought the other to acting, they were – with Jördis Triebel, Kathrin is in “Waiting for a bus” – at the Ernst Busch School.
And now they stand, sit there in the draughty landscape, the two buddies, Brandenburg-Berliners, as not many actors can anymore. Sentences that you want to cut out and take with you wherever you go. They shoot dry from the no longer quite slim hip.
A man becomes a sparrowhawk
They are elaborated down to the last decimal point, but sound like improv theater. There hasn’t been anything like this on television since the “crime scene cleaner”. And by no means only German is meant.
But what they say is actually not what “Waiting for a bus” makes so much attention to tinker around with Berlin a bit. It is what happens between the sentences, the words in their gestures, in their faces.
When you’ve somehow screwed yourself deep into something that hurts, when you think exactly the opposite of what you are saying. When they have chatted into something that is still so close from afar.
Once, for example, Hannes says and shows Ralle that he dreamed that he could fly. That he was a sparrowhawk. Ralle, who has as much knowledge of Wikipedia as Hannes has of all kinds of calendar wisdom, told him about lucid dreams. The ability to direct dreams.
This is a new tool for self-optimization. What you can create in a dream, you can also create in life. Ralle knows that. Don’t help him.
And then at some point Ralle comes out with his dream diary, which he keeps so that he can get a grip on the past, the bad sleep, the fearful stink afterwards, the depression.
And in which he always enters on Wednesdays that he dreamed that Hannes was with the Stasi. And Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays.
And then it all comes back on the table and they step in, and Ralle pukes when everything comes too close to him and his father, who was a big animal in the party, and who terrorized the family until he eventually was praised to Moscow and never came back alive, and Ralle remembers that he was on the verge of digging it up in the cemetery to be sure that he really …
It may stay that way for a long time
And so it goes on and on, and you gnaw your fingernails. Until the truth is there in the landscape, the whole thing, and Kathrin drives you around and brings everyone back to life, and everything will somehow be fine again between the boys.
That’s how it is in Havelland when “waiting for a bus”. It may stay that way for a long time.