Keyningen

Script and Storyboard

Keyningenn

EX. SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

Static long shots.

The shots from the deck are accompanied by heavy noise, rendered by the ship’s engines through the old video tape camera.

SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

An old man appears on the deck, looking and talking to the camera. Medium shot.

Mr. Nicolas: Andreas Andreou… during the Junta of ’67 he returned to Greece. After this, I’ve never seen him again. Andreas was a good friend, unmarried like me, born in 1938. This man today – if he is alive indeed – ought to be 72 years old.

(note: this is told in 2010)

Cut to black

FILM TITLE

 

INTERIOR OFFICE – DAY

Yannis Karpouzis: It was Sunday 25th of May. I went down to Pireus in order to take the ship to Crete.

Static shot showing a house interior and a filmmaker (Yannis Karpouzis) is talking to a journalist (Otto Liebknecht) and a camera. The shot, unlike the preview ones, is a clear digital shot. Outside the winter is blowing.

Yannis Karpouzis:I remember that the day was warm but the wind was strong. I carried a VHS camera, 4-5 tapes and a sound recorder. Although I was too young by then, I don’t know why, the end of “Becket’s tape” was constantly in my mind:

Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want them back

In the ship I met Mr. Nicolas, a Cretan 70-year-old man, who was going to the island with his wife. After a while he began telling me his story about immigration to Germany during the 60s and his best friend there, another Greek named Andreas Andreou.

Otto Liebknecht: I suppose then came the idea that you could shoot a documentary film?

Yannis Karpouzis: Yes. Andreas Andreou was from Agiasos in Lesvos as a lot of relatives I have that immigrated the same period to Australia. But the most interesting about the story was the memory of Mr. Nicolas. He kept repeating that he hasn’t seen him for 30 years. No one knows if Andreas Andreouis alive today. The memories themselves were very scarce and fragmented, at least by the terms of narration.

Otto Liebknecht: How did you persuade Mr. Nicolas to talk in front of the camera about his old friend Andreas?

Yannis Karpouzis: Mr Nicolas had lived a lot of years in Germany and was very fond of tape-recording, a lover himself of Video cameras and Super 8 experimental films.

Otto Liebknecht: I believe that the most interesting thing is that there is not detailed information about Andreas Andreou…

Yannis Karpouzis: Exactly. I strongly believe that this man, Andreas Andreou, is a ghost. He is real only due to the testimony of his existence by another man in front of a camera. This does not mean of course that this man never existed… All those things that Mr. Nicolas cannot remember to say are also words.

SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

Medium shot on Mr. Nicolas. On the right lower edge we can see now his full name, “Kouroupakis Nicolas”.

Mr. Nicolas:

Let’s talk about a story. My story. I began from Chania to go to Germany. It was the 10th of March in 1963. After three days I arrived in Augsburg and began working in a factory named Keiningen. Keiningen was a huge spinning mill and had 600 Greek workers, me and my brother among them.

 

Our cousin had invited us so it was quick to make friends among the Greeks. Three men we were sharing a room. Me, another guy named Anastasios and my friend Andreas Andreou. Andreas Andreou… during the Junta of ’67 he returned to Greece. After this, I’ve never seen him again.

Andreas was a good friend, unmarried like me, born in 1938. This man today – if he is alive indeed – ought to be 72 years old.

I am a bit shy to say it, but I miss him much.

EX. SHIP’s DECK – NIGHT

Static shots on the deck’s bar: chairs, a sofa and a plastic palm tree.

 

 

 Mr. Nicolas: A very good time we had with Andreas from 1963 to 1967, we were sleeping for four years in the same room. The factory had built houses for workers and we stayed there, three people.

We had a very good time… Andreas was a good friend, after ’67 he left… I never saw him again. Up to this time I occasionally visit Germany. But Andreas never showed up. I do not know where he might be now.

 

The shot remains and the noise of the boat is the only thing heard.

INTERIOR OFFICE – DAY

Yannis Karpouzis: When I came back to Athens I made small research on Augsburg and collected an archive of photos and videos from the Greek working class of the 60s

Augsburg is a small city in west Bavaria that can be proud only of its industrial past and the birth of Berthold Brecht. I chose not to show shots of the city or of the archive as it does not have an actual connection with the film. The “Keiningen” film is not an artwork about Augsburg or about the difficult life of workers there. On the contrary, this film is shot in a ship and that is why I prefer shots from the ship’s deck.

The sound of the ship along with the sound the camera is growing again

SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

Medium shot on Mister Nicolas. On the right lower edge we can see now his full name, “Kouroupakis Nicolas”

Mr. Nicolas:

The army came into power in Greece on 21st of April 1967 and Andreas left Germany two months later. I do not know why he returned to Greece, we remained in Germany. I do not know where he is. If he was to be found, it would be a dream.

Mr. Nicolas:

A lot of Greeks can be found even nowadays in Augsburg. I think at least 3.000. Augsburg is a fine city… I’ve heard that now it does not have the industry of the past, the factories have moved but Keiningen remains there. Although it was forced to be sold, it still holds on.

OFFICE – DAY

Otto Liebknecht: Although you do not want to focus on Augsburg it is constantly there next to other “imaginary” places like the village of Agiasos in Lesvos and a ship travelling at night to the south.

Yannis Karpouzis: This is a conceptual interpretation of this work and maybe far away from the intentions of my youth. I didn’t recall the quote of Becket in the beginningby accident:

But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want themback

That night in the ship there was a very strong wind. Some hours earlier my day was really strange. I had met some people from the past (this time’s past) during the engineer elections in Greece. I had to shoot that film, that specific night.

Otto Liebknecht: Mr. Nicolas Kouroupakis is the only source there is about Andreas Andreou. Somewhere in the film it is said that Andreas was a very handsome young man in his thirties… then we know that he returned to Greece after the army violently took … the power. Have you reached any conclusion on this?

Yannis Karpouzis: Who can say? I once met a professor who returned to Greece to fight against the Junta… Andreas Andreou was either a fighter of freedom who had the guts to return or a fascist himself. His return to Greece after the army took over cannot be a coincidence. The fact that he didn’t share the reason of his return to Greece with his best friend makes me think that he was a communist. I imagine that he wasn’t afraid of anything.

Moreover, no one has seen him since back then.

SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

MrNiColas:Andreas stayed in Keiningen from 1962 to 1967. May or June of 1967 he returned to Greece. I can’t remember exactly the month… we were going together to the butcher’s, to the grocery’s, to the market to buy things. He was a patriot and a friend. For all these, Andreas if you ever see this, remember me, remember Nicolas Kouroupakis from Chania.

 

 

Intermission and sound

Close up to Mr. Nicolas

Mr. Nicolas:

Andreas was seeing a woman for a while… they broke up as she was married. A Greek woman in Augsburg. Andreas was a handsome young man back then. Black hair, tall… But it didn’t work out. Andreas found out she was engaged and they split up. I don’t know if they ever got married…

VILLAGE IN LESVOS – DAY

3 Shots showing landscapes

 

Otto Liebknecht: The content of death is clearly entering this film. This is a film about someone missing. The way to find a man who is defined inside a known nature of relations – in this case the relationship with the man recorded, Mr. Nicolas – is the core of the story.

 OFFICE – DAY

Yannis Karpouzis: Every work speaks of about deathin the end. Even abstract modern paintings speak of a death: the death of representation. Andreas is not somewhere that can be found, in the meaning of a real space such as Agiasos or Augsburg. The only space that he exists in is the symbolic order of the film.

Otto Liebknecht: So Andreas is a sign, a signifier? Doesn’t this make profound connotations to the Empty Square of Deleuze? The corner stone is always missing, the subject is never in the place that you seek it and thus it may render a structure.

 

 

Yannis Karpouzis: It can be like this. It is common, however, to write a story about something which is missing. Most things are desirable for the reason that they are not fulfilled. It is common to think about the things that have passed, the stories that are forever resolved. About all these that are forever lost.

Earlier you spoke of death. This is a fact that defines an end. The case in this film is different. No one has seen Andreas but in real life he may be still alive. It is a story that cannot have an end.

 

SHIP TO CRETE – NIGHT

After 1967 I never saw Andreas again. In 1972 some people said that they had seen him. But me, I have never seen him all these years. Andreas, I haven’t seen you for 43 years. We were 30 and now we are 73. Andreas, the other old friends are ok, I still get their news. Most of the German workers we worked together with are dead by now.

Only Frantz is still alive and all the others are gone. You knew them very well from the night shift… we were always together with them in the night shift… everybody is gone. Working the machinesall together… Ludwig is dead. Rivolas is dead. Otto and Erluer are also dead. From our shift very few are still alive.

Goodnight Andreas and good morning, next time I will see you, I wish.

The noise grows stronger and Mr. Nicolas cannot be heard.

 

Cut to black

 

End Titles