The theatre group PENG! Palast & the Israeli Machol Shalem Dance House create their first movie. Provocative but highly constructive involving a lot of sensitive global and personal history. Help us to realize it!

CHF 9’240

102% of CHF 9’000

102 %
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

58 backers

Successfully concluded on 27/11/2012

That is what it is:

«The holycoaster s(HIT) circus» is a fictional documentary that is about to be sent to film festivals and brought to movie theaters. We have a highly motivated, talented and professional team, but so far next to no funding.

Description of the Project:

In 2011, PENG! Palast (from Bern) and Machol Shalem Dance House (Jerusalem) created a multi media dance theatre show under the name «the holycoaster s(HIT) circus» as a collaboration. Later in 2012, they were nominated as the «collective of the year» from the journal TANZ in Germany.

Part of this interdisciplinary theatre project is a 50-minute film. Now both companies want to extend the 50-minute documentary to an independent feature film in order to send it to both fiction & documentary festivals worldwide. The film will be in English, German and Hebrew with subtitles, and they will try to find film distributors in different countries.

The main topic of the documentary is the encounter of people with three different cultural backgrounds. With mock tolerance and romantic idealism, they are trying to understand each other but remain trapped within their prejudices.

In order to show the film at festivals and later on find a way of distribution, we have to rev up again. We have to shoot additional scenes, re-edit the existing version, develop a cinematic end, re-master the sound and work on the color correction & grading. All these work stages are time consuming and must be done professionally. Until now we lack the financial means to do that.


The three actors from the Bernese theatre group PENG! Palace are planning a new project about «Schlager-music» and heroes/heroism. They work with personal stories and film interviews with each other. After one of the three actors wants to drop out of the project, they are heading towards a crisis and the project is about to be cancelled.

The reason for the unwillingness of the German actor to participate further is, that there is no one in his family that he could see as a hero, on the contrary, his Grandfather was a high-ranking Nazi. The directors of the theatre in which the play should premier are not pleased with the discontinuation of the project and, as emergency solution, they introduce the PENGs to an Israeli «theatre group». At least that is what the three guys believe until they arrive in Jerusalem only to realize that the Israeli group doesn’t do theatre but only dance. The disaster takes its course: they find themselves more and more involved in a project, that requires skills and knowledge which they don’t have, and they get entangled in ever- increasing prejudices. Despite of anything, they try to continue with the project until the biggest disaster happens and they almost lose one of their best friends …

The documentary shows and questions prejudices of the Swiss against Germans, Germans against Jews, Jews against Christians, actors against dancers (and vice versa). In order to achieve the required aggrandizement, the scenes of the documentary are mis-en-scene, means faked, mens mock-documentary.

The audience will not be able to distinguish reality from fake because prejudices are a mixture of disturbed perception and self defined reality.


«[…] these Swiss guys are borrowing a bit of German history and set off for a journey to Jerusalem. Well, this just has to become a walk on eggshells, living on the edge. […] This is one way to deal with life stories, true to the position: Whoever never lived through something serious has to think of life as a joke until this joke is revealed and contains a terrible consequence, nearly lethal; actually worse. A life as spectator in a wheelchair. It is a provoking evening, most constructive in its way of dealing with the dark chapters of German history, a walk on eggshells indeed, sharp shots towards the conscience.» MDR Figaro (central german broadcast), May, 8th, 2012, Boris Gruhl.

«[…] Beyond political correctness they juggle with nasty clichés whereas laughter gets stuck in your throat time and again since there is of course a lot of truth in those caricatures. Are these, in fact, one’s own prejudices which are confirmed by this gang of loonies? […] With dance, slapstick and play they prove that they have indeed learned something in Israel. The alleged Nazi-offspring has mutated into a grimacing joker who acts as master of ceremony in this «cirque fou». The womaniser is incarnating the essentially German hero Siegfried, complete with wet-look panties. The whole thing is called sexy religious multimedia entertainment. At the end of this roller-coaster-cabaret, you feel cleansed like after a thunderstorm. And everybody got wet in the process. […]» Berner Zeitung, September, 26th, 2011, Helen Lagger.

«[…] Peng!Palast are the basejumpers of the freelance theatre-scene, and they are moving hand over hand along a rope without safety bond over the abyss of bad taste …]»Bund, September, 26th, 2011, Brigitta Niederhauser.