Biegertlodge Wiedereröffnung

Biegertlodge is Back !

Claus Biegert in Bhutan, Image von Bettina Koller
Image courtesy Bettina Kohler

Biegertlodge.de was cut off from the outside world for some six months. We were hacked, our provider (since dissolved!) unreachable by email, and by phone we could only hook up with a looped soundtrack. We're happy to announce that with a new, qualitatively far superior provider, biegertlodge.de is back online.

So what happened over these last six months? One thing: folksinger Pete Seeger passed away. Beginning in 1979, I crossed paths with Pete time and time again; in 2010 Pete climbed up on stage at Cooper Union to join musicians Patti Smith, Liam O’Moanlai, Peter Gordon and Joanne Shenandoah in honoring our 2010 Nuclear-Free Future Award laureates. You can find photos of that event over at www.nuclear-free-future.com.

Also during this time astrophysicist and social critic Hans-Peter Dürr passed away. Hans-Peter was a consultant for the historic World Uranium Hearing, which took place in Salzburg, 1992, and accompanied our work at the Nuclear-Free Future Award from its 1997 beginnings.

My remembrances of Pete and Hans-Peter you can find in these pages in both German and English, as well as an article I wrote about Seeger that appeared last July in the Süddeutschen Zeitung, entitled Gefährliche Lieder (»Dangerous Songs«).

Also during this time I produced two films available in both English and German: EXIT 16 – ONONDAGA NATION TERRITORY and LEONARD PELTIER: I AM THE INDIAN VOICE. To learn more please visit www.biegert-film.de – the motion picture outlet of Biegertlodge Productions. (Now that biegertlodge.de is back online, we'll perhaps assemble everything under this roof. Stay tuned...)

My latest films are the product of a series of emotional encounters, heavy decisions, happy discoveries, and delays both needed and unneeded... Finally the big push arrived and now both works are out in the world...

The work on EXIT 16 began in 1993, when I was sent by German broadcaster ZDF to create a film portrait of Dewasenta, a Haudenosaunee clan mother. Haudenosaunee means 'People of the Longhouse', and is the name the so-called Iroquois use to refer to themselves. At the time I promised my friends in Onondaga Nation Territory that one day I would return and we would make a longer film together in which they could have their say.

Nearly two decades rolled by before circumstances became propitious enough to continue with my film idea. In 2008 we picked up where we had left off, and in the fall of 2012 the nearly finished product was warmly received at Onondaga. Since then the film has been re-edited to accommodate the few criticisms. My many friends among the Haudenosaunee helped guarantee the film's authenticity. They indeed did have their say.

Filming of I AM THE INDIAN VOICE began at the change of the millennium, when together with photographer Dick Bancroft I visited Leonard Peltier at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Prison authorities had no problem with me bringing in a video camera; Leonard read a number of his poems. As Dick and I left the guards told us that had they discovered my copy of Leonard's book, »My Life Is My Sun Dance«, it would have been confiscated. This was the second time I was able to visit Peltier behind bars, the first occasion being in 1994. Since 2002 Leonard is barred from meeting journalists. In 2008 I was sent by the Human Rights Bureau of Nuremberg to visit Leonard. One day before our official meeting – I was already in the United States – the appointment was canceled. The promised official written clarification as to why has never reached either myself or Nuremberg's Human Rights Bureau.

Without a fair trial Leonard has been wrongly imprisoned since 1976. The initial charge of the double murder of two FBI agents was withdrawn, changed to aiding and abetting, yet Peltier's sentence to two consecutive life terms remains. I produced this film to help support the worldwide »Free Leonard Peltier« movement. At www.avaaz.org you can add your signature to all those who are asking President Barack Obama to finally pardon Leonard Peltier.

Welcome back to Biegertlodge!


English translation: Craig Eldon Reishus