The camera follows the sluggish course of the river of a tropical metropolis. The banks are strewn with garbage and scrap, amongst which goats are grazing, and corrugated-iron huts extend far into the water. Fishermen are trying to wrest something edible out of the brown waters while children are playing, laughing and splashing around. From off-screen we can hear the annual report of a salesman, whose doubts and complaints about his occupation are expressed ever-more clearly as the journey progresses. We’re in the boat, as well!
The almost documentary-like quality of Victor Jaschke's camerawork is constantly interrupted by black screens, that seem to serve as moments of reflection. The natural sounds of the voices on the river are in direct contrast to the synthetic and dramatic tonal palette of Ascan Breuer's film. The use of quotations from the apocalyptic boat ride in Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella Heart of darkness provides an unconventional and critical look at the conquest of the world in the name of globalization and the laws of the market economy. The dream of power and success in an existential fight for the saving of one’s soul underscores the film’s visuals, using Conrad’s words to point an accusingly moral finger. In the end the question remains: »Why aren’t you coming after us?« – a call for one’s own responsibility; the paradise comes later. (Lukas Harlan)