A Unique, Important Film Saga

"A Unique, Important Film Saga." Forum, 9 February 1999, sec. 4A.

"An extraordinary documentary film about the Germans from Russia should be required viewing in every classroom in North Dakota.

The film is entitled, "The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie." It traces the astonishing saga of a unique people from 16th century Germans and Russia to 20th century North America. It was produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting and the North Dakota State University Libraries.

Clearly, it's a product of scholarship, dedication and love. A capacity invited crowd last week at the premiere at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo was captivated by the skill of the filmmakers and power of the story.

Often the first reaction to "documentary" is ho-hum. Not this film.

The story follows the Germans from Russia from ancestral villages in the Old World to northern prairie farmsteads in the New World. It is told with humor and intelligence. It depicts with sensitivity the hardships and seemingly unendurable heartache the immigrants experienced through the generations.

And through it all, the film honors the tenacity, faith and work ethic of the Germans from Russia.

Producer Bob Dambach and his Prairie Public crew can be proud of a documentary work that surely will stand as the best film depiction of one of North Dakota's most important ethnic groups. Of special note is the wonderful script by Ron Vossler and original music by John Altenbernd.

Also, the determination of Michael Miller, bibliographer of the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at NDSU, cannot be minimized. He can claim significant credit for the success of the effort to fund and produce the documentary.

The documentary will be aired this month on Prairie Public Television. But if you miss it, or you want it for your collection, the video can be ordered from Prairie Public in Fargo.

("Forum" editorials represent the opinion of "Forum" management and newspaper's Editorial Board.)

To secure the documentary videotape, contact Prairie Public Broadcasting.

The videotape can also be secured by going to the GRHC website page.

Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Fargo, North Dakota.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller