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Short doc on Berlin's bunnies gets Oscar nod

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
February 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
"Rabbit a la Berlin," one of this year's Oscar-nominated works, involves thousands of rabbits living within the confines of the Berlin Wall.Once upon a time, thousands of wild rabbits lived a very tame kind of life. When the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, there was something called the 'death zone' -- the space between the eastern and western walls -- which was occupied by the bunnies of Berlin.

"It was that zone between, full of grass and no predators, so 120 kilometer strip was a paradise for rabbits for a while," said Anna Wydra, producer of "Rabbit a la Berlin."

As it turns out, it's about more than just rabbits. The fall of the Berlin Wall shifted German society away from communism, symbolized by the rabbits losing their safe enclosure of 28 years and thrusting them into an uncertain future.

"The general idea [is] to tell about this metaphorical story about leaving a communist system, it was from the very beginning. But the question, 'how to do it?'-- it was very difficult to answer for years," said Wydra.

It took Wydra and three Polish friends four years to finish the film. And now it's up for an Oscar in the best short documentary subject.

"Rabbit a la Berlin" will screen just before the Oscars as part of DocuDays L.A.


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