One Day in Europe… The film's underlying premise is
already contained in the title. "One Day in Europe" can mean the
present, today, this one particular day in Europe. But it can also be understood
as "One Day in Europe, there will be…." in the sense of "some
day, in the future…" And this is where one can find Utopia. How
is it possible to make a film about Europe, its various mentalities, its
people? What cities should one include? What symbols? Since I not only wanted
to write the film but also direct it, I had some very practical considerations
to make. I live in Berlin, spent some time in Santiago de Compostela, have
good friends in Istanbul and was in Moscow several times. Besides, I just
had to have Moscow in a film on Europe. But what is the connection among
these cities? Is there a common European way of life?
What would happen if Galatasaray Istanbul and Deportivo
La Coruña were to play in the finals of the Champion's League in Moscow? Football
is simple, it is watched everywhere, no matter what one's religion is.
Football as a narrative bracket – I felt a certain poetry in this.
And besides, it's real, not some wild fantasy. And then, what would the
stories be about? How about language or the lack of one, how about dialects
and regions, travels and travelers in Europe? We all know the situation:
you arrive somewhere, you're robbed of something, you find yourself in
some kind of delicate situation. And you have to talk, but you don't speak
the language of the country. Already things start getting complicated – or
Four simple stories have grown out of this. A British woman in Moscow,
two Germans in Istanbul, a Hungarian in Galicia (Spain), a French couple
in Berlin. I wanted to make a film of small scenes, of moments that I
myself have experienced before in a similar fashion. I was always concerned
about the European moment, the meeting of the various European mentalities.
One Day in Europe: the film is about the here and now, but it tells us
about a certain utopia at the same time. Some day, there will be a United
States of Europe, with Istanbul in it, and Moscow, too. And how will we
communicate among ourselves? In Denglisch or Spanglish, Franglais or Frallemand?
I'm placing my bet on European English, peppered with Leitmotiv and kaputt,
with mise en scène and siesta, with ciao and chill-out
nasdrovje and merhaba.
Hannes Stöhr, January 2005