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Bild: Leavinghomeproduktion

From 3.9. in the Cinema – 972 BREAKDOWNS – By Land to New York

A film by leavinghomefunktion and Daniel by Rüdiger

The leaving-home function is a term used in the automotive industry. The flashing of the headlights is intended to ensure that the driver can safely route from the front door to his own car in the dark. Or that’s us five artists on four rusty motorcycles – ready to finally get going! What counts today is safety: Don’t take any incalculable risks! For us, however, “leaving-home function” means the exact opposite: leaving the safe environment, going out, without a multi-secured emergency plan, letting the realization follow chance and developing trust in the unknown.

The content
In September 2014, we, a group of young artists, will start an expedition to the east in Halle/Saale. We, Elisabeth, Efy, Kaupo, Anne, and Johannes, exchanged hairbrush for wrenches, house for tent tarpaulin, stove for campfire. On 4 old Russian sidecar motorcycles we made our way towards New York – always looking for the point where we can’t go any further. None of us had a clue about motorcycles until recently. After completing our art studies, we got our motorcycle license and packed our studios directly into the sidecar. So the journey into the big, wide world could begin, to finally see it with our own eyes. If you follow our journey on the map, the red line of the itinerary winds from Germany to the Balkans via Georgia to Kazakhstan on to Mongolia and even further to the most remote corners of the Far East. There, the red line leaves the course of the strait and follows one of Russia’s largest rivers, the Kolyma, northwards, crossing treeless tundra before crossing the 80km wide strait of the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska . From Alaska, the route winds for thousands of kilometers through the North American continent to finally end in New York. With a good deal of naivety, we explored what it means to master endless corrugated iron tracks in the Mongolian steppe, what it means when there is no hospital nearby in the wilderness of Canada or when roads flood in the north of Russia and bridges become a rarity. A momentous decision for a shortcut brought us to the end of our strength and only with a lot of luck and the help of many people we managed to continue.

972 BreakdownsAt some point, all roads stopped and helmets were exchanged for life jackets. After a long period of tinkering, the motorcycles were converted and were able to swim 1600 km on the Kolyma River in the far east of Russia to the Arctic Ocean. The rickety sidecar motorcycles, manufactured in the former Soviet Union, set the pace of our journey. The constant mishaps initially made the project seem hopeless. The challenge was to accept failure as an almost inevitable result of one’s own action. Nevertheless, day after day, I set off again to discover with amazement that it was precisely the breakdowns that served as the key to establishing contact and allowed countless insights into kitchens, living rooms, but above all into the workshops of the local population. Only thanks to the help of all the people we met on the way, we were able to reach our destination after 43 000 kilometers on 10.01.2017 at 15:04. New York City.

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Director: Daniel von Rüdiger
110 minutes (German, English, Russian with German subtitles)
Theatrical release: September 3, 2020