Documentary

No West Runway – A Region Fights Back

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Cinema Documentary | 115 min | 1981/82
Written & Directed by: Gunter Oehme, Michael Smeaton, Wolfgang Schneider, Rolf Silber, Thomas Frickel,
Regine Heuser | Camera: Marian Czura, Peter Dick, Wolfram Dormann, Ralf Herber, Ilse Meyer, Pavel Schnabel,
Wilfried Voigt, Wilfried Zeckai | Filmed in: Frankfurt am Main

The conflict about the construction of the "West runway" at Frankfurt airport reaches its climax in 1981/82. 220,000 citizens of the region have signed a petition calling for a referendum on whether the runway should be completed. But this appeal is ignored, and the anti-runway movement, the biggest regional citizens’ movement in the Federal Republic of Germany, is criminalised.

Employing a blend of documentary footage, dramatic re-enactments in sketch style, extracts from anti-runway concerts and experimental montage, the filmmakers attempt to portray the course of events which leads normal citizens to become politically alienated from the existing system. Using six sections with titles such as "Well, it must be possible to do something," and "Now we've had enough!" the stages in this political development are examined, from an initial unarticulated discontent to resistance in the form of throwing paint bags.