972 BREAKDOWNS – On The Landway to New York

Posted by on in Documentary Feature


972 Breakdowns is the story of five young artists who decide to exchange exhibition for expedition.

Anne, Efy, Elisabeth, Johannes, and Kaupo have a plan. They will put their studios on wheels and travel from Germany, all the way to New York city.
Their route through the East will probably satisfy their curiosity to discover the meaning of distance: 40.000 kilometers of roads dissolving into deserts… dissolving into swamps… dissolving into rivers…  until they reach the 80 kilometers of open sea separating Russia from Alaska – The Bering Strait.
From their point of view, that’s no problem. They will deal with it, but first, they need to get there! The question, for now, is, how far will their rusty motorcycles really get them?

Among countless mechanical breakdowns the group needs to deal with neglected road conditions of East Russia. They construct an amphibious motorcycle which will take them up a maze-like Siberian river. On their 4 week river expedition the group gets an peak into the remote cultures of Kolyma river.

Now one step closer to the Bering Strait they transform their motorcycles back for land. But before them lay 120 streams and rivers of the highland tundra. They construct a multifunctional trailer, capable of transforming into both bridge and ferry. Everything is running so smoothly… Reaching Bering Strait actually feels realistic for once! But tragically enough, their hero-trailer comes with a catch:  It’s simply too heavy for their old, beat-up bikes. The tundra highlands have completely powdered the clutch of the motorcycle. With heavy hearts, they unanimously must admit that they’ve reached the point where they can’t go on.

Despite not having completed what they set out to do in Russia, the group upholds their journey through North-America. As they get closer to New York they become more and more charmed by the value of human contact they’ve experienced through their countless breakdowns. Against all odds, the artists arrive in New York city.

Director: Daniel von Rüdiger


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