Into the unknown

A cinematic documentary about people between worlds
Is it not a hopeful sign refugees are warmly welcomed in Germany? Will the beautiful vision of a global village become true, with people peacefully living together regardless of nationality, class or religion - at least for the time being? With rapid changes currently taking place, nobody really knows where this journey will take us all. In uncertain times like ours it is worth listening to people who have undergone similar experiences. People like these are given a voice in “Into the Unknown.” They are members of a German-Russian artist group who come together in the Salon Theatre Taunusstein to rehearse Erich Maria Remarque‛s melodrama “The Night in Lisbon.”
In his new film, established director Inigo Westmeier (award-winning kung-fu documentary “Dragon Girl”, 2012) focuses on his actors‛ lives between two worlds, the German and the Russian one. During intensive rehearsals and in numerous interviews, cast and team try to find answers to the same question that haunts and drives Helen, the play‛s main character, who is constantly running away from herself:
Where is home?
Helen‛s feelings of being homeless, homesick and lonely are the Russian-German actors‛ very own ones. Thus they serve as an ideal basis for staging the play in a particularly true way.
Yet not everyone feels at ease with this ambiguous approach, private and professional matters inevitably mixing. The viewer experiences first-hand how different interpretations of the play‛s
characters result in personal conflicts. The challenging, at times manipulative directing of Mikhail Levitins who in his main job is the artistic director of the Hermitage Museum in Moscow exacerbates
those conflicts.
In art as in life, Westmeier with his actors embarks on a journey searching for a piece of what can be called “home.” Filmed with a sensitive eye, he repeatedly finds impressive, personal, subjective
images on that journey. With Westmeier subtly blending documentary and theatrical performance, film and documentary sequences complement and enrich each other. With this unusual artistic approach, Westmeier succeeds in capturing what is said between the lines, showing what cannot be put into words. Here, the film is truly cinematic. It is true to the director‛s goal, to use his own words: “Authenticity and emotionality without distraction.”
A hard, emotional time marked by existential thoughts on love and violence, the search for one‛s identity, displacement and loss culminates in a successful performance and Viktoria Alexander the
Russian-born artistic director‛s consoling realisation: “My home is my husband.” The fact that for most of her colleagues the search for something they can call “home” will go on is the underlying tragedy we as an audience come to realise. It is what the actors share with those thousands of uprooted people at present looking for a new home in this country. To convey this feeling to an audience is the quality that makes Inigo Westmeier‛s “Into the Unknown” so special.

  • Inigo Westmeier
  • Inigo Westmeier
  • Benjamin Quabeck
  • Maco Gilles
  • Markus Hoock
    Delegate producer
  • Andreas Hilscher
    Key Cast
  • Andreas Petri
    Key Cast
  • Janina Rudenska
    Key Cast
  • Alexej Boris
    Key Cast
  • Grigory Kofman
    Key Cast
  • Maria Zharkova
    Key Cast
  • Irina Potapenko
    Key Cast
  • Mikhail Levitin
    Key Cast
  • Viktoria Alexander
    Key Cast
  • Harry Hummel
    Key Cast
  • Lee Buddah
  • Wladimir Daschkevitsch
  • Benjamin Quabeck
  • Inigo Westmeier
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Ins Ungewisse
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Theatre
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    German, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Amira
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Mexico International Film Festival
    Mexico city
    May 14, 2017
    World premiere
    Best Documentary Feature
  • BLOW UP - international Arthouse Festival Chicago
    United States
    North America
  • Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
    January 26, 2018
    German Premiere
Director Biography - Inigo Westmeier

Born in Brussels, Inigo Westmeier studied at the Film Academy in Moscow (1994 -1999),
graduating as Master of Arts. He then completed his post-graduate studies at the
Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy where, he graduated with diploma in 2003. Also in 2003, he received a scholarship to study at the UCLA Extension Entertainment Studies
Department in Los Angeles.
Inigo Westmeier has produced films such as Alone in four Walls and Dragon Girls. Alone
in four Walls won the 60th Locarno Film Festival Grand Prize of the Critics and was nominated at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Competition.
Dragon Girls, which he wrote, directed, and was DoP of, is the 2013 Best Feature-Documentary Award winner at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, winner of the 2013 German Directors Metropolis Award, 2013 German DoP Award, the Children's Jury Prize at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival and the Hessian Film Award, distinction “Especially Worthwhile”. Dragon Girls was screening 19 consecutive weeks in german
Inigo Westmeier is owner of Open Window Film Ltd., founded in 2010.
He speaks four languages fluently and has been filming in Countries like China, Russia, the USA, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ruanda, Thailand, Turkey, Egypt and Singapore.

Add Director Biography