Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Starfighter – A High-Tech Death / Starfighter – Mit Hightech in den Tod (2009)

(2009, documentary, HD, Dolby Stereo, 89 min/45 min., by Kai Christiansen, Lichtfilm GmbH, Cologne.)
"88 minutes of highly interesting German post-war history."

Abraham Translations translated a treatment to this documentary way back in 2008. To simply re-use the description found at Lichtfilm GmbH: "The documentary film Starfighter – A High-Tech Death tells the story of the procurement of the most modern combat aircraft of the time and the mysterious crash and death of over 100 pilots. In the 60s, the West German Air Force had over 900 Starfighter supersonic fighter-bomber aircrafts of the model 104G in service [...]. But the new technology proved tricky: one-third of the machines crashed, and every second crash proved fatal for the pilot. Kai Christiansen's film is the first film to deal with the Starfighter scandal, and it does so from a variety of perspectives: the viewpoint of those affected is presented, as is the desire of the politicians for both a new German aviation industry and the access to the atom bomb. Particular attention is given to the widows of the fallen pilots and their desperate struggle for the clarification of the causes behind the accidents and the hope for an end to the series of crashes. The film, however, also lets the pilots speak who enthusiastically continued to get into their machines everyday despite the numerous deaths. [...]
"It is a film about the largest and most expensive armament project in the history of the Federal Republic. The documentary offers insight behind a tangle of military secrets, political intrigue, corruption and deliberate misinformation. It is revealed how the catastrophe came to be and why the series of crashes could continue for almost 30 years. The film also tells little stories of the purchase of the first car and the first camera as well as of the young army's recruitment of professional soldiers. [...] It is a film about the difficult relationship between the German Federal Republic and its army, about the parallel worlds of the German Armed Forces and the civil society.
"Starfighter — A High-Tech Death is also a film full of anger, sadness and outrage at a military leadership that demands heavy losses even in times of peace and a political policy in which nobody takes responsibility. It is a film about the difficult new beginning of the Air Force in the shadow of World War II, about the close friendship with the United States, and about the thrill of supersonic flight."
For a different production house, I later translated the treatments to two other projects Kai Christiansen wrote and directed: Pioneers to Millionaires (2010) and 100 Years of Hollywood — The Carl Laemmle Story (2011).
Since the release of the documentary, the story behind the Starfighter has been converted into a TV drama Starfighter — Sie wollten den Himmel erobern [Starfighter — They Wanted to Conquer the Skies], which was aired in November 2015 and is available on DVD.

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