The story of a former dairy farmer, an animal rights activist and the first cow retirement home.
About the film
Jan Gerdes is a third-generation dairy farmer, but he struggles with his conscience when the milk yield decreases and he has to sell his cows to the slaugtherhouse. After suffering a burn-out, he decides to give up his farm. On the day his last cows are due to be transported to the slaughterhouse, he finds that there's no room for twelve of the cows. Instead of ordering another transport, he and his partner Karin Mück decide to keep them. This is the birth of Hof Butenland – the first cow retirement home in Germany.
In the early 80s, Karin was one of the first activists to rescue dogs, cats and other animals from vivisection laboratories – actions that ultimately led to her arrest and imprisonment.
Paul was supposed to be slaugthered at the age of two months because of calf flu, Uschi because she refused to be milked; Lillja almost did not survive the birth of her first calf. On Butenland they live together with many former farmed animals in an environment where they are equal to humans. It's a peaceful coexistence that seems almost utopian.
This intimate portrait follows two compassionate people who have dedicated their lives to the animals. It captures moments of happiness and sadness, of life and death, and questions the status of farmed animals in today's society.
When and where can I watch the film?
The premiere with guests will take place on January 29 2020 at the Zeise cinemas in Hamburg. On 6 February 2020 the film will be distributed by mindjazz pictures in cinemas across Germany. The exact dates will be announced here, on the mindjazz pictures page and on social media. The film will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and as download approx. 6 months later.
How can I support the film?
At the moment the biggest help would be if you could mark February 6, 2020 red in your calendar. That's the thearical release of Butenland in Germany. And if as many people as possible go to the cinema to see the film in the first week, there is a good chance that more cinemas will add the film in to their program in the following week and thus bring the history of Butenland closer to even more people. It would also be a great help if you follow us on social media and share the upcoming announcements and news about the film and its release! You can find us at Instagram and facebook. Last but not least you can subscribe to our newsletter (see below).