The Problem of the Fastest Flight
2014 / Germany / 32 Minutes / Philipp Käßbohrer
Inspired by true events which took place in Southern Germany in the winter of 1945, “Das Problem des Schnellstfluges“ (The Problem of the Fastest Flight) tells the story of an engineer’s harebrained scheme to build a manned rocket made of wood. Humorless scientist Erich Bachem meets young pilot Lothar Sieber when he is ordered to fly Bachem’s rocket. Though the two initially regard each other with scorn, a father-son relationship soon emerges. When the Nazis push for a premature test launch, the young pilot loses his life in what proved to be the first manned vertical launch in history. An 80-year-old man, who at age 10 witnessed the events in the village, now attempts to recount the story, assembling the details from his own vague recollections. What emerges is a distorted, almost sentimental telling of a tragic story from an even more tragic time.