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G7 summit in Schloss Elmau


ARD / BR, 2015, 45 minutes

It is the political event of the year: On 7 and 8 June 2015, seven chiefs of state and heads of government convened for the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau. Secluded in a remote mountain valley, they intended to spend the two days discussing a world that – in light of the Ukraine crisis, refugee disasters, and terror by the so-called “Islamic State” – seems to be coming apart at the seams. A summit in times of war and terrorism.

For more than one year, filmmaker Kirsten Esch observed the local actors: The meticulous preparations at the conference site, Schloss Elmau, the newly constructed luxury suites for the guests of state, and, amidst it all: hotel manager Dietmar Müller-Elmau. For him, hosting the Summit at his schloss is a dream come true. But the G7 meeting, with 5,000 gathered journalists and more than 15,000 security officers, polarizes expectations, even in the local region around Garmisch-Partenkirchen: The hope staked on the Summit as worldwide tourism promotion clashes with fear for the untouched natural environment. How is an area composed of substantial portions of nature reserve supposed to cope with the anticipated onslaught of press, police, and politicians? And pushback should be expected not only from conservationists. Each year, the Summit draws fierce protest against these exclusive get-togethers of the powerful. Today demonstrators have already announced “a storming of the Summit”. This film presents a special type of culture clash: global politics collides with idealized Alpine life.