On the Slate: Tangram & Force Four

From Hitler's mythical voyage from Germany to Argentina to two women's attempts to build a brothel in Victoria, B.C.: realscreen takes a look at the latest projects from Tangram Christian Bauer Filmproduktion and Force Four Entertainment.
January 8, 2009

One of the more well known historical myths of the 20th Century sounds a lot like a joke when delivered: it’s the one about Hitler escaping to Argentina on a submarine. In fact, if you search the theory on Yahoo! Answers you’ll find the response voted Best Answer to the question ‘Did hitler [sic] escape to argentina [sic]?’ is ‘Yes, he opened a convenience store where he worked with Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison.’

Christian Bauer and his production company Tangram are examining this popular myth in a one off reenacting what may have happened if Hilter’s great escape is real and he really did survive by hiding out on a ranch in Argentina. ‘We’re retelling the story of the escape and the ideas which ran around in Britain and the US about the identity of the submarine and the purpose of the trip,’ says Bauer. The doc is due to wrap in November 2009.

Tangram has four other factual projects in production, a six-part series called Wheels of Desire which looks at the most popular cars in Europe and is due to wrap in 2010, a theatrical doc called The Missing Reel which is the story of a film shot in the Warsaw ghetto in 1942, a four-part series about how the industrial age came to the Alps in the 19th Century which will wrap in May, and the German edition of Who Do You Think You Are?.

British Columbia is pretty well known for being the most laid back province in Canada, and Victoria, its capital city, is the laid back part of B.C.. Given the large number of retirees who settle in Victoria, and that the area is home to a larger percentage of people over the age of 80 than any other Canadian city, it seems a bit of a strange location in which to start up a brothel. But two women are planning to do just that and Force Four Entertainment is working on a doc about it.

The Brothel Project follows two women, one a former sex worker and the other a business woman, who are determined to build a safe place for women in the sex industry to work. As one would expect, there are many obstacles in their way, first and foremost the law. The doc follows them to New Zealand where brothels have been legalized and where they hope to find guidance in how to launch their business. This one-hour television doc is due to wrap this fall.

Vancouver-based Force Four has three other doc projects on the go. 65 Red Roses follows Eva Markvoort, a woman with Cystic Fibrosis who is awaiting a double lung transplant and finds an online community of women in the same situation as her online. ‘This disease is kind of isolating,’ says John Ritchie, executive producer and partner at Force Four. People with Cystic Fibrosis can’t spend a lot of time around each other because of the fear of spreading super bugs, so connecting online with each other is their main source of support. The filmmakers were given full access to Markvoort’s life as well as the operating room. The 68-minute doc is due to wrap in 2010 and is being creating in partnership with CBC Newsworld and Knowledge Network.

The other two doc projects for Force Four are a big budget doc for CBC looking at the carbon industry and a one-hour doc for Knowledge Network about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Carbon Hunters looks at what is and isn’t working in the world of carbon offsetting and, in particular, carbon credits which can be misleading and confusing to consumers. The doc, which will wrap in the fall and will be distributed by BBC Worldwide, travels the world to uncover which carbon credits are real and which are not.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.