In Milltown, Montana, German director Rainer Komers pits images of animal carcasses, calf branding or the remnants of a giant dam against the everyday hustle and bustle of this small logging town whose residents live on toxic land. This dialogue-free film was made as part of Breathless - a Czech-German project (2008-2009) that produced 5 short films.
Milltown, Montana , Germany, 2009, 34 min, 35 mm, Environmental, Nature, Society
Time inscribes itself into Rainer Komers' meticulously composed images and impressive sound collages of MILLTOWN, MONTANA. Each picture tells a story of a place that once belonged to the largest mining area in the United States that was contaminated by toxic substances and heavy metals. But the film does not only show the devastated landscape. Without dialogue, it sensitively portraits the people living and working there: cowboys branding their calves, Blackfeet Indians laying down the foundation stone for a new educational center, trappers and golfers, workers in a silicium plant, old miners, and young scholars competing in a mining contest.MILLTOWN, MONTANA is visibly scarred by man and trapped in a postindustrial phase of standstill. By alluding to its former wealth but showing the area's actual lack ofprospects, the film dramatically undermines the image of the American Dream.
Breathless was created in 2008 by the cultural foundation Zipp - German-Czech Cultural Projects together with the Prague-based Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) and the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig. Out of more than 130 submissions from both countries, five films were selected for production. The films were made with the help of TV broadcasters and regional funding from Germany and the Czech Republic. The Breathless films were made over a period of eighteen months, including two development workshops.