The 13. International Cycling FIlm Festival

Dear film friends,

the bike promises salvation from certain destruction. This is the message of the movie “Iron Horse” by Teresa Väli from Estonia: A cyclist gets into a life-threatening situation in the Estonian wilderness, and when all hope seems lost, his bike saves his life. But in the end, the bicycle – unfortunate hero! – is rejected by the rescued. With this thirteenth program, we protest and call out to the renegade friend that the bike is good for humanity, and that is why you should like and care for your bike.

The 13th International Cycling Film Festival tells a lot of stories about the relationship between man and bike, which provides all sorts of philosophical and entertaining material. It’s all about queer in “A Bicycle in Love”, a film about the happy love between Daisy and the charming bike Greg. Elsewhere it is recommended to keep handkerchiefs ready, because like in real life, the cinematic relationships often end tragically, as in the magical animation “Bike Ride” by Tom Schroeder, USA.

With the French novelist Stendhal, one could say that the bicycle film is a mirror, which you drive by cargo bike along the highway. There – in the mirror – we see the young Edouard riding a bike in the eponymous film by François Fournier, Canada, as far as it goes, “to see if I can” – riding a bicycle as a way out of childhood. Also Jean-Aimé Bigirimana, a Canadian DJ with Rwandan roots, tries the outbreak. In the movie “Escape” by Anjali Nayar he escapes, astronaut-like and visually stunning, into eternal ice.

The cargo bike does not just play a metaphorical role. Two films demonstrate impressively that it is underestimated in real life. Even in the case of heavy loads, the car can be quite “dull”, as the film “Siedelei” – “Move” from Salzburg tells in a broad Austrian. The Velokitchen bicycle scene from Dortmund, a city in Germany close to Herne, whose cooking has been the cherry on the cake of the ICFF for many years, illustrates in “On the Move” that a multitude of cargo bikes can move mountains.

The festival would be none without the political film, and a special weight comes to “Tigersprung” – “Tiger Leap”. It is dedicated to the life of Albert Richter, 1932 amateur world champion on the track, murdered in 1940 by the Gestapo. At the center of the film is his Jewish manager Ernst Berliner, who, fleeing from the Nazis, survives in the Netherlands and later emigrates to the United States. He tries to bring the murder to the indictment in the 1960s, but the German judiciary does not want to open a case. The Cologne track cycling scene sees him only as “the disorder” – so he experiences complete rejection. Ernst Berliner travels home with the intention to never return to Germany.

The festival shows a total of 15 films from ten different countries, including experimental cinema from Belgium and the United Kingdom, documentaries from Guatemala and Germany. Spiritual edification is provided by the film “The Slow Pilgrimage Cyclist”, shot by Fritz Tietz: “Not only the ways of the Lord are unfathomable, sometimes it’s his bike paths, too”. Let’s embark on a way that leads, partly stony, partly with very entertaining sections, into a better world within which the old Nazis and new populists no longer have a voice.


Gernot Mühge and Chris Wawrzyniak


TOER – a film by Jasmijn Cedee