German filmmakers focus in on Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 28, 2009

Six German filmmakers are braving the Mississippi summer heat to learn more about Delta culture.

The group arrived in Houston last Saturday and rented two vans. From there, the traveled to New Orleans and landed in Vicksburg Thursday. They will leave today, headed for Clarksdale, Memphis and on to St. Louis.

The director and author of the documentary, called “Mister and Missis.Sippi,”  is Volker Struebing, 38, of Berlin.

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“We will be doing research for two weeks and filming for seven,” he said.

Assistant chief producer for the project is Jadwiga Wenke, 24, of Berlin.

“The Mississippi is a very special river,” she said. “Everywhere we’ve gone here (in Vicksburg), the people stop and talk to us. That never happens back home.”

Wenke explained that Germans rarely pause for casual conversation on the street. “If you ask me a question on the street, of course I’m going to give you an answer. But it’s short and direct.”

Other members of the crew are Sabine Streckhardt, 34, director of photography; Lutz Neumann, 36, co-director and producer; and Tom Aures, 32, chief producer, all of Berlin.

Matthias Seifert, 37, of Leipzig, is the artist for the group. He sketches the various encounters, people and places they come across.

The end of the journey will be spent rafting from St. Louis to Memphis, filming portions of the Mississippi River — making “the journey like Huckleberry Finn did,” said Struebing.

“We hope to see an alligator and a bear,” Wenke added.

The group hopes to return to Vicksburg by July 25 to record a performance by local musical duo Osgood & Blaque, comprised of Cee Blaque and Greg Osgood. The pair have been Vicksburg tour guides for the group.

“They heard some of our music online, on our Web site, and told us they wanted to experience the culture surrounding those sounds,” said Blaque.


Contact Matthew Breazeale at