"The worst thing is that I do not know who I am." Helmut Bistika is one of five protagonists portraying strangers in the heart of Europe. The film accompanies its protagonists in five chapters. It all starts with the Slovak stranger and mountain guide Maria Györiová. She has lived in Austria as an Eastern Bloc refugee and says: "You are as many people as you speak languages." The spectators accompany them on their way to the snowy mountains and back to the Slovakian valley. There, the Carpathian Germans are a tiny minority. It does not bother the sculptor Ján Lang: "If I can no longer be a Carpathian German, then I'll be a Pole or a German."
A student who is afraid of the future and a blacksmith who runs the last blacksmith in the place complete the ensemble.
The film places the individuality of its protagonists in the foreground and opens the view to the questions of identity; In doing so, he goes far beyond the ethnic affiliation, whereby the spectators come close to the people.

Title Strangers in the Heart of Europe
Director Jan Paschen
Genre HessenLab Documentary Film Biography':
Release Date 29.11.2021
  • Slovakia
  • Germany
Length 44 Minutes
Spoken Language
  • German
  • English
Color Format
  • Color



Jan Paschen
Joshua Maciejok
Jan Paschen
Jan Paschen
Daniel David Maik Albersmeier


Jan Paschen

  • HessenLab
  • Germany
Born in the Wetserwald. I trained as a chemical-technical assistant. Spent 6 months doing voluntary service in Pune, India. I also spent 6 months in Amman, Jordan, for a semester abroad. Studied Communication Design at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, Wiesbaden. I work as an art …

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