This year's SILBERSALZ School Cinema, from June 21 to 23, 2023, showed that cinema can be more than just entertainment, but can also motivate students to ask questions, discuss issues, and participate. For five years, this format has brought together students, filmmakers, and experts with the support of partners from the media industry to discuss films of current social relevance in depth. In the run-up to this year's SILBERSALZ Festival (October 25-29, 2023 in Halle), more than 600 students came together in the Leopoldina, the Planetarium and Passage 13 to watch films under this year's festival motto: "I see something you don't see..." in order to vividly address and visualize what eludes our direct perception - because it already seems so commonplace, almost banal and self-evident.
The format was opened on Wednesday by the film: "Children of the Climate Crisis - 4 Girls, 3 Continents, One Mission". The powerful documentary by director Irja von Bernstorff is about young female activists who try to sensitize children and adults of their generation for causes and solutions of self-created and future-threatening environmental problems. This film left a noticeable impression on the young visitors and also the intensive question rounds with the experts Prof. Stephan M. Feller, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Dr. Ajit Ahlawat from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Dr. Marten Winter from iDiv - Halle-Jena-Leipzig, and director von Bernstorff showed how topical the issues of air pollution, plastic waste and the endangerment of the oceans still are within the young society. The film could be shown thanks to the cooperation with the NaturVision Film Festival. From July 20 to 23, 2023, in Ludwigsburg, Germany, the festival will once again focus on nature and environmental films and take its visitors to fascinating landscapes, investigative films and people who take action and give hope. The film was shown at the Leopoldina and on Friday at Passage 13 in Halle-Neustadt.
The significance of colors in our everyday lives, how they play with us and how we play with them, where they come from, and what makes them so special, were all topics that the students were able to explore in "What Power Do Colors Have? "What power do colors have? - 42 The answer to almost everything", a contribution by Arte42. First, their own knowledge of the world of color was put to the test. With the knowledge gained from the film, an attempt was then made to initiate a lively discussion from a medical and art historical perspective together with the experts Dr. Marie Elisabeth Burghardt, ophthalmology specialist at the University Medical Center Halle, and Prof. Albrecht Pohlman, restorer at the Moritzburg Art Museum. A nice and colorful topic, as it turned out.
Especially the documentary "Made to Measure - A digital search for traces", by the Lakoon collective knew how to problematize the discussion of everyday media and smartphone use among the young target group of the SILBERSALZ school cinema. Many students were unaware of the traces that just one person leaves behind on the Internet over the course of five years, and of the fact that it is possible to create a digital doppelganger on the basis of Google's data treasures alone. The director of the film, Hans Block, offered insights into the making of the film and the research behind it. The students were able to discuss questions of computer science with Prof. Korinna Bade from the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau.
This year's school cinema found a worthy conclusion in interactive cosmic offers about the starry sky and the solar system, in the recently opened Planetarium Halle. On Friday, June 23, 2023, Dirk Schlesier, the director of the Planetarium, confidently and routinely "flew" with his young audience through the galaxies into the infinite expanses of space, past our planets and told of legends about the constellations and how we might one day be able to make visible and conquer the space that is invisible to us. An exciting excursion, not only for young people interested in astronomy.
Finally, the team of the SILBERSALZ School Cinema would like to thank all partners, Arte, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the NaturVision Film Festival, the Planetarium Halle and the MDR in an advisory capacity, the many international experts, the presenters of the speech science of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the many interested students and teachers for a successful School Cinema 2023.