Ivette Löcker
AT 2010

Nachtschichten: Night Shifts

97 min., German

When night descends over wintry Berlin, not everyone is asleep. Graffiti artists use the darkness for tagging train cars, and railway security monitor the yards for intruders. A couple of women driving the homeless shelter’s van visit the familiar street corners and doorways, looking for the regulars who need a sandwich and hot coffee, and maybe a warm bed. A young DJ rides the subway with her sketchbook, alone in the night. Director Ivette Löcker follows the people who venture out into the night, creating a hauntingly beautiful film out of the dark urban spaces. In Night Shifts, equal care is given to the invisible people who keep Berlin’s pulse at night and to the rough surfaces, architectural shapes, and glowing red taillights that recede in the distance. Löcker says: “It was my intention to explore cinematically the tension between a pragmatic routine by which the night is spent…and the existential desires and fears that seem to be inevitably evoked.…We discover the tensions and ambiguities but also the promising freedoms that their way of life opens up. The moments in which we can sense despair, fear, and desperation or the struggle against them reveal how fragile the night’s freedoms are.”

Script: Ivette Löcker
Camera: Frank Amann
Editor: Michael Palm


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