Mr. Hammon, how did you get to know about the film project GOLD?
Hammon: That is a crazy story. I had had an accident and was in the hospital. A few bones were broken and the spine badly bruised but I was really lucky and got away without being paralyzed. After being in the hospital for one week my phone rang and one of the two producers Andreas F. Schneider asked me if I would like to take over the camera for his new film project. He told me about GOLD and naturally I took the offer, it was almost a destiny calling.
Were you ever confronted with topics like rehabilitation or handicapped sports as a Director or Cameraman?
Hammon: Yes. I met a young Paralympic Athlete through my wife in 2000. Her name is Sabine Wagner and she was just preparing for the Paralympics in Sydney. My wife and I were fascinated by her personality and by that topic so we started filming with her. Unfortunately back then we neither found any sponsors nor was anybody really interested. It left us with the dream of doing something in that field and now our dreams come true in a different way with GOLD.
Shortly after the shooting started you switched from Camera being the Director. Are there any key scenes that showed you from the beginning that they would carry the movie?
Hammon: Yes, there are a few. The first time I met Kurt Fearnley for instance. He just arrived from the New York Marathon. After 20 kilometers his steering mechanism broke which sort of works as brake to the front wheel and slows you down. He continued driving and came up second. That power was just overwhelming. With Henry it’s his story about his involvement. Do you know the cow-project?
No, tell us about it.
Hammon: While travelling Henry one day met Boris Becker. Becker was so impressed by Henry that he asked him, if there was something he could do. Henry asked him to donate a few cows that he wanted to give to families in his village. Every newborn calf is then given to the next family. Boris Becker did just that. By now Henry has given away 58 cows and helped families to survive.
Is there also a key scene with swimmer and DGUV team member Kirsten Bruhn?
Hammon: That would be the days when we were shooting with her at the hospital Boberg in Hamburg. Right there Kirsten talks about being down, how she first realized that she was paralyzed for the rest of her life. We also met a young guy who needed an extremely long time to get out of his bed and into a chair. All of a sudden you realize how much strength, energy and training Kirsten needed to get out of that dark hole.
You were also filming at the Paralympics in London. Did that change your way on how you look on sports for the disabled?
Hammon: For me that was the ultimate moment of my work. It was so impressive to experience all these Athletes from all over the world. But it was also interesting to see how the individual nations were treating their Paralympic Athletes. The prize money is pretty small and you wonder why they do it. Why do they invest so much pain and go through so much trouble?
The Motto of the film is GOLD – YOU CAN DO MORE THAN YOU THINK. This expression is not only directed towards disabled people but applies to everybody. Can you personally relate to that?
Hammon: Yes, absolutely. I feel humbled when I see all the achievements and positive attitudes that I am allowed to document in this movie. We sometimes only need a small incident to see the world grey in grey and to feel sorry for ourselves. For me it is important to spread this positive message and I hope that the movie will do just that.
Source: Elke Biesel / DGUV