Vagabunden Karawane  (Vagabond's Band)

16 mm / 1:1:33 / color / mono / 82 min.
produced 1978-80
released 1980

produced by

Werner Penzel Filmproduktion
Irnfriedstrasse 9
D-80639 München

coproduced by

Lieurac Productions
2 Passage des Marais
F-75010 Paris

written and directed by

Werner Penzel

music composed and performed by

Embryo and musicians on the road through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

distributed by

Aventinstrasse 1
D-80469 München


Vagabunden Karawane

the bass of the diesel drone interrupted by a screeching brake solo - each road has its own song. the Hindu priest, laughing hysterically as he realizes the camera focusing on him and he still keeps laughing after the film ran out - all your preconceived concepts shattered by present tense reality - the argument over the last bottle of whisky stashed away for the customs official in Iran - the night of fear at the Secret Police - the first chillum after the Afghanistan border - the people under the bridges of Calcutta and the cold morning bath in the mountains of turkey...
the shared dream of being on the road, this powerful dream stronger than all fears and horrors of disease, lack of money, borders and civil wars, it pushes us on through the night when everybody on the buses is huddled against each other, sound asleep, save for the drivers bent over the wheel, leaving behind the serpentines of the passes and the desert roads stretching out straight across the flats, the radio turned on full volume, hoping for some decent music to keep you awake till the next stopover at some desolate gas-station.
the camera plunging into the bottomless pit between mere technical limitations and the irrevocability of each minute moment - after days becoming months the film footage is counted by miles - right now - just about one year after we set out for this trip - we're back in the editing room viewing the director of the culture-institute with his abstract ideas right next to the shy smile of the Afghani shepherd boy, the night in the Pakistani circus tent dissolving to unexpected thunderstorm raging over riverbanks in India where one woman of our tribe gave birth to her first child cheered on by each and everybody, and the people of Calcutta jump up from their seats on the ground to boogie with embryo's Afghani-Hindu-rock...


Baika, Wolke Sun Min, Bella Obermaier, Ana Tamanini, Christian Burchard, Eva Pluvatsch, Stefan Rustige, Hieonymus Parth, Roman Bunka, Grace Yoon, Werner Penzel, Fedra de Faria, Dmitri Rugiero, Uve Müllrich, Slivka Pluvatsch, Doris Wedemeier, Georg Kramer, Brian Greenman, Helena van Dantzig, Michael Wehmeier, Rolf Sylvester, Catherine Pioch, Gunni Heidler


Christian Burchard, Roman Bunka, Uve Müllrich, Michael Wehmeier
Phaban Baul Das, Swapan Baul Das, Malang Negrabi, Ustad Mohamed Omar, Mohamed Aref, Friedemann Josch, T.S. Mani, Shashi Kimar, Ramesh Shotam, Gopal Krishna, Raja Gopal, Chandram Duli, Satya Kumar, Chandra Sekchal, Rama Mani, Ravi, Sampath Kumar, Louis Banks, Baba Jam Singh, Mahent Bhalkrishna Bharti and many others


Werner Penzel
Helge Weindler, Pitt Koch, Michael Wehmeier, Doris Wedemeier, Wilhelm Schulz, Peter Clausen, Wolfgang Dobrowolny, Mahmud Nuri, Ron Orders


Helena van Dantzig


Brian Greenman
Christopher Price, Rolf Sylvester, Gunni Heidler, Etienne Conod


Willi Schwadorf

edited by

Fritz Baumann, Werner Penzel

written, produced and directed by

Werner Penzel