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Mosel bridge film seeking backers

The sommelier and social geographer Jessica Pierce is making a film about the deeply-controversial Mosel bridge project – and is asking opponents of the project to back it with cash donations.

‘Mad, destructive, unnecessary’…An computer-generated image of the completed project

Calling the Mosel bridge ‘an epic disaster’, Pierce says her proposed film, The Mosel Shortcut, is ‘a documentary film on the globalisation of Germany’s Mosel told through the voices of the valley, and the building of a mammoth bridge.’

The film project has found ten backers since it went live on 30 May, pledging a total of US$1,395. UK wine writer Hugh Johnson has already become a backer.

Sarah Washington, of the anti-bridge lobby Pro-Mosel, said in an email to supporters, ‘All you have to do is spread the word about this project, and if you can, donate a sum to help make her film a reality.’

The website kickstarter.com carries a short introductory film by Pierce, who holds a number of degrees including a masters in food culture and communication, human ecology and sustainability. Her career to date has been as a sommelier.

Her biography says she came to Germany as an intern at renowned Riesling producer Dr Loosen, and ‘decided to stay in Germany to make a documentary film about the cultural landscape of the Mosel Valley.’

Included on the website is a detailed history of the Mosel bridge project, which has been characterised by political infighting and bitterly-fought lawsuits along with the widespread hostility. In the UK alone, Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson have both written and campaigned extensively against the project.

‘The bridge is only in the beginning stages of construction,’ Pierce says. ‘The forest has not been clear-cut and the drilling has not started on the Ürzig side of the river.’

Outlining her film project, she says ‘I will document the process and watch the changes in the landscape. I will record the thoughts of the people living below the construction zone. I will make sure everyone is aware of this epic disaster, if not only to protest The Mosel High Bridge, but to avoid a repeat of this mistake in other culturally significant regions.’

Johnson told Decanter.com, ‘I think it’s a brilliant idea and I am supporting it via Kickstarter. I think everybody should pledge something, even if it’s only a dollar.’

Asked how much he would be donating, he said he would ‘make a dent’ in the current total. The Hochmoseluebergang (Upper Mosel Crossing), whose centrepiece is a 1.7km, 10-column bridge 158m tall, was first mooted in 1968, as a link between US bases in the region during the Cold War.

Its route will cut through what Johnson called ‘the finest Riesling vineyards on the planet – the slatey slopes of Wehlen, Graach, Urzig and Zeltingen…This mad, destructive, unnecessary road is on course to pollute the most famous, most beautiful and historic stretch of one of Europe’s loveliest rivers, forever.’

For more information visit: kickstarter.com

Written by Adam Lechmere

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