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The Philosophers' Stone

still from the film DERUTAFairy-tale fantasy about a German girl, Katharina, who gets involved in a very particular adventure: arriving in the little Italian pottery-town of Deruta she meets four ceramists who immediately recognize her extraordinary mediumistic powers. Each time she works at the potter's wheel, she goes into a trance. In the world of the subconscious the ceramists seem to her like alchemists in their research of the Philosopher's Stone, which many years ago was stolen by the Golem. With the help of her talents as a medium, Katharina and her new friends find the mythical stone as they travel through spectacular moments of the history of ceramics in Deruta. Unfortunately - after they find the stone - the people no longer understand its significance.

"The director has faced the problem openly, using two sources of inspiration, one poetic, "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carrol, which suggests the theme of internal travel; the other, Scientific and Humanistic, is based on the theories of Jung resulting from his study of alchemy. In particular, Jung saw the process of transformation of the material the alchemists were working on, reflected by the change within, wherever Man confronts his subconscious. The alchemist, like the ceramist, due to his particular relationship with the primeordeal elements and their combinations, can be taken as a perfect example when demonstrating this theory."
Luigi Branchetti's review in "Il Corriere" 4th September, 1989

ITALY, 90', 16mm, colour
Production: WDR Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Köln / HR Hessicher Rundfunk, Frankfurt / Brintrup-Filmproduktion, Rome

CAST Ursula von Baechler, Remo Remotti, Romano Ranieri, Jorge Krimer, Eraldo Chiúchiú, Achille Brugnini u.a.
MUSIC Sergei Sergejewitsch Prokofjew
CAMERA Ali Reza Movahed
OPERATOR Sergio Romano
SOUND Hubrecht Nijhuis
SCENOGRAPHY Stéphane Munier
SCRIPT Graziana Quintalti
COSTUMES Stéphane Munier
EDITOR Graziana Quintalti
TV PRODUCERS Christhardt Burgmann, Winfried Schoeller
PRODUCTION Brintrup-Filmproduktion, HR, WDR
FIRST BROADCAST WDR 3 am 10.8.1989
REPLAY HR 3 am 9.1.1990
FESTIVALS Festival del Cinema Italiano, Roma 1990
gallery with stills from the film