“Lus or Zest for Life” (2010)

How to deal with dead bodies and the imagined hereafter –
as viewed by Christians, Jews, Moslems, and atheists.



Documentary film – Script, direction, and executive production – 98 min.– Co-production with German Public Television, 3 sat. In collaboration with the Film Studio Duesseldorf. Supported by the German Federal Cultural Fund and the Film Foundation of North-Rhine Westphalia.

She should have told him about the city of Luz, back then, when he had stolen those few pennies. Instead she threatened him with the Eye of God, that would see everything, right up to the day he died. Whereas in the city of Luz, as it is called in the first book of Moses, the angel of death had no power and no one was struck dead by it.

What do they do with you when you're dead? And what do they think of life after death, the gravediggers he met when he was a server in church? What does life after death look like – to Christians, to Jews, to Muslims, or to atheists? We see how people deal with the dead – in Bad Saulgau, Du?sseldorf or Guben, in Jerusalem, Haifa or Tel Aviv, in Hebron or Qalqilya. Children and adolescents tell wonderful stories about corners of Paradise, which provide a view of Hell, about the homogeneity of the souls, about eternal sleep. A moment of shared reflection is created, including discussions with older people about belief, proof and truth.

Still afraid of the Eye of God? And he thinks: You probably don't even realize you've lived until you're already dying. Something else is worrying you now. That time's getting too short. That you'll no longer manage to achieve something unique, something perfect; something that, ultimately, will make it all have been worthwhile. And what does perfect mean anyway? There's only one way to perfection: by being generous to one another, truthful, patient and peaceable. By not being fanatical, or unjust or bitter. By not puffing yourself up, by leaving out the posing. By showing endurance, hope, and enjoying one another's company. Which one of you said that?



With: Mark Andelfinger - Safa Hamad - Avram Drikmann - Qasem Harb - David Winter – Herny Abramovitch - Gunther von Hagens - Moshe Amirav - Raul Teitelbaum - Ahmad Hamad – Julian Storrer - Moritz Eisele - Angela Raei - Mahmoud Sayel - Ibrahim Abu Sbeih - Julian Frick – Lukas Fischer - Eitan Pushett - Kimor Eyal - Gilad Winter - Reut Sar-Shalom Christian Kümmerle - Sabrina Seidl - Husam Harb - Ayala Sar-Shalom - Solem Kubichek - Gershi Rudermann - Yossi Brod - Jonathan Livnoni - Uri Ponger - Father and Son Fischer - Sheikh Ahmad Maharmeh - Johann Friedmann

Writer and Director: Erwin Michelberger – Camera: Justyna Feicht – Editing : Philipp Enders - Camera Assistant: Dusan Solomun, Andreas Faigle – Music: Harald Schwender – Sound: Philipp Enders – Digital Postproduction: Matthias Paeper – Mixing: Shinya Kitamura – Production Manager Israel: Amichai Greenberg – Production Manager West Bank: Fakhri Hamad, Nida Abu Hamdieh – Production Manager Germany: Nadine Diwersi, Erwin Michelberger

Thanks to: Paul Behrens, Hugo Birkhofer, Matthias Burth, Timo Königshoven, Heinz Holzapfel, Pfarrer Wolfgang Knor, Maurice Tszorf, Anne und Amos Ponger, Christian Deckert, Denis Rosen, Marc Ewert,  Axel Zschuckelt

Editors: Inge Classen, Udo Bremer