IN HEAVEN, UNDERGROUND: THE WEISSENSEE JEWISH CEMETERY is an enchanting journey into history that celebrates life and the immortality of memories. North of Berlin's noisy city centre, surrounded by a jungle of trees and lush foliage, lies the peaceful and secluded 130-year-old Weissensee Jewish Cemetery, the largest Jewish cemetery still in use in Europe. Its one hundred acres hold 115,000 graves and a meticulous archive record. The cemetery has never closed, and was one of the few institutions to remain in Jewish hands during the Nazi regime. Award-winning director Britta Wauer's charming portrait creates a serene experience following a delightful array of characters from around the world: mourners, tourists, a young family residing at the cemetery, a third-generation gravedigger and an ornithologist studying rare birds of prey.
Britta Wauer is an award winning Berlin based filmmaker with a number of noteworthy documentaries to her credit. These include her 2008 feature documentary Gerda's Silence about the life and times of Holocaust survivor Gerda Schrage; the 2005 TV documentary Berlin: A Square, a Murder and a Famous Communist, about Berlin's famous theater Die Volksbuehne; her collaboration with Sissi Huetlin titled The Rapoports - Our Three Lives, about the German Jewish émigré family who went to live in East Germany after being prosecuted during the McCarthy era in the US; and her 2001 debut documentary A Hero's Death, in which she reveals the truth around East Germany's national hero Egon Schulz, a border controller who, instead of being killed in action, actually died from friendly fire.
"In Heaven, Underground is a delightfully upbeat look at death." -This Week in New York
"Stunning... gorgeously photographed." -Paste Magazine
"Revelatory, moving, breathtaking." -what (not) to doc
"It’s a wondrous, captivating and genuinely heartfelt documentary" -NYC Movie Guru
"Astonishing" -Upbeat Mag
"A beautiful, often even a cheery film." -Frankfurter Rundschau
"A cemetery film that couldn't be livelier. Sad and funny." -Der Tagesspiegel
"The engaging work of award winning director and producer, Britta Wauer, this film beautifully portrays the joys and sorrows of Weissensee through the lives of people intimately involved in the past, present and future of the cemetery." -The Daily Undertaker
"Stunning.. It is not only a film depicting deep Jewish historical value, but also a film that is inspiring, heartfelt, soulful, and one that defines Jewish rituals, values and traditions." -Jewaicious