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BETWEEN COAL AND CLIMATE – three people, one story

Johanna Jaurich

BETWEEN COAL AND CLIMATE – three people, one story

Film synopsis

Philipp, 35, lives in Cologne. Right after completing his studies, he joined RWE as an engineer and has been working in the Hambach opencast mine for 9 years now. His job in the pit mine has become a second home for him, but environmental protests against coal are increasing lately. In addition, Germany has decided to phase out lignite and suddenly Philipps professional future might be in risk. How does he deal with these uncertain times? How do the protests impact his everyday life as well as his point of view? Ruth, 30, lives in Leipzig. During her studies she already spent most of her time with political actions against climate change. Currently she works at an organization for sustainable development, where she mainly supports the resistance of the residents in Germany’s coal regions. But not only in her job, also in her spare time Ruth is fully committed to fight for a sustainable planet. In risky actions she is regularly pushing her limits further. We accompany Ruth in her actions and get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the rising climate movement. What is Ruth experiencing when she goes beyond legal and personal borders to fight for her beliefs? How will her next steps look like and what is she afraid of? Anja, 36, lives in Spremberg, a little town right next to an open-cast mine. She just opened a small advertising agency there – but most of her customers are working in the coal industry. Lignite is an important financial resource in Lusatia. If Germany phases out of this, Anja fears that the region will change for the worse. She must decide whether is worth to stay in her home town despite of the economic situation. How does she deal with the fact that the coal seems to be a curse and a blessing for Lusatia at the same time? What is her big hope? The struggle for lignite in Germany has become a personal question for Philipp, Ruth and Anja. The answers will have a huge impact on their lives and their future. While Philip's career begins to totter and Anja's life dream of her own agency depends on coal, Ruth continues to fight for an immediate exit from the coal with even riskier actions. The film describes how the debate about Germany’s coal phaseout affects the personal life and how deeply politics and private affairs are interlinked.

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