SATUL SOSETELOR VILLAGE OF SOCKS by ILEANA STANCULESCU
In the small village Viscri/Deutschweisskirch, in the
middle of Transylvania (Romania), all women are knitting socks. A German
musician, Harald Riese, is the head of the local "sock-project":
he sells the knitted socks to Germany, to Austria and to other countries.
And he also enjoys living in Viscri. Harald teaches to Viscri-children
German, plays piano and sings about the beauty of the Romanian language.
Last but not least, he organizes the sock-export to Western Europe.
We knocked at the door and asked the owner of the house what is the "sock-hour". The owner of the house was Harald Riese, a musician from Berlin, who loves to live in the small Romanian village and has invented the sock-project: every woman in Viscri knits woolen socks and Harald sells them abroad.
Since he has started the project, every family in the village has a regular income, a small shop has been opened, a factory has been founded and a doctor comes every week to take care of those who need help. Harald was so proud of his sock-project, that I filmed him and later on, I decided to realize also portraits of the women who are involved in the local "sock-industry".
My main question was: how can a village survive today, when all villages get empty and when living in the country-side is so difficult that nobody can afford it anymore? And how can peasants continue to work and live in a natural way, like they did the last hundreds of years. Together with my co-director Klaudia Begic, we have been awarded the "Award for Joint Venture Productions" of the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung and we could make this film.
My way of seeing life is very much influenced by the social changes in Eastern Europe and in my country. And, in general, I realize that women are those who suffer most in the transition period to the market economy. Trying to make a living in difficult times and trying to keep their children and family protected by the economical crises that followed the fall of the Communism, women are always finding solutions.
As a filmmaker I always want to present people to the audience: I want to present people that I like, people I have talked to, people I have observed during a long period of time. The women in the village of socks became my friends and I hope that the audience will remember them in the same way like I do.