I interviewed Dietrich Bruggemann for his film Stations of the Cross, for Grolsch Film Works.
Stations of the Cross is a remarkable film. Filmed in just 14 shots, one for each of the eponymous stations, director Dietrich Brüggemann moves his camera only three times throughout the film. But it’s much more than just a gimmick or a dry experiment in formalism; it’s as essential to the themes as the script is.
The director – an exceptionally eloquent thinker with a tendency to make you feel slightly embarrassed by the simplicity of your question – is keen to champion the methods he used to make it.
GFW: Is Stations of the Cross an anti-religious film?
Dietrich Brügemann: No, not really. I don’t think you should make films in favour of or against anything, really – political or argumentative. Of course, you have a certain view of the world and you have a certain set of values that you can’t hide, but I think as a filmmaker you are obliged to discuss the stuff, and be dialectic and encourage the other position. We actually deliberately – we maybe even overdid it – put lots of characters that gave us another angle on religion, with a normal, everyday approach to Christianity.
I don’t have anything against religion. Apart from all the philosophical and theological stuff, what I really see when I look at religion is people going to church on Sundays, gathering and flocking together, supporting each other and singing hymns and playing the organ. What’s wrong with that?