Scene from the film Time Before Land
Scene from the film Time Before Land
Scene from the film Time Before Land
Scene from the film Time Before Land
Scene from the film Time Before Land
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Time Before Land

  • Germany
Audio Tracks 

A woman arrives in a Polish village. As the director’s alter ego, she embarks on a search. An ancestor, we learn, originally came from this region of Silesia. The film follows her journey through the summertime landscape. She meets people of both German and Polish descent, who, after the war’s end, were forced to leave their homes, or who remained in what became a new country. She encounters shadows of the past: monuments, dioramas, the ruins of Nazi architecture. In a dinosaur park, paleontologists dig for the bones of a prehistoric creature, the one they call the grandfather of dinosaurs. Again and again, there is the presence of water—in the floods that swept fossils from one place to another and in fear-inflected metaphors: waves of Slavs or refugees. Where do the monsters of the past lurk? Fact and fiction interweave into a fantastic tapestry, as the process of genealogical research begins to go off course. Layer by layer, traces of migration routes are uncovered, and the roots of racial ideology are shaken loose from the ground— because almost nothing originally comes from the place where it’s found.


  • Original Title
    Vor Zeit
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Juliane Henrich
  • Cast
    Nannina Matz
  • Cinematography
    Juliane Henrich
  • Editing
    Juliane Henrich
  • Music
    Benedikt Schiefer
  • Runtime
    79 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Germany
  • Format
    • Colour is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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