Vandet på landet (1946) - full transcript

This reconstruction of Carl Th. Dreyer's
movie Water from the land from 1946

is made on the basis of a gallery of
stills and unedited audio recordings.

Water from the land

- Tell me, Mr engineer, where do
water come from? - From the sky.

- I thought it came from the ground.
- No. Water comes from the sky.

- But how? - Water soaks down into
the ground and is later pumped back up.

- Sorry, I do not get it.
- It is not so difficult.

- Water soaks into the ground until it
reaches an impermeable layer of soil.

Here it remains. This layer of
water is called the groundwater.

- I see. But then the water must be very
dirty after soaking through the soil?

- I figured you would not understand.
Groundwater is very pure and germ-free.

- I do not get it.
- I will explain.

As rainwater soaks down it is filtered
such that it contains no germs.

- You whistle every time you
understand something? - Precisely.

- So wells are made to bring up
the groundwater? - Exactly.

- That is great.
- I could be, but it is not.

- Why not?
- The doctor will explain that.

- Hello Mr Doctor.
- Hello.

*Scene missing*
- Countryside wells are in poor shape.

- Is that so? - Yes. Today one half of
the countrymen drink insanitary water.

- Please repeat. - Half the countrymen
drink insanitary water on a daily basis.

- That sounds scary.
- It is.

- But why is this so? - Most places
the wells are in a wretched state.

- What is that?
- That is Ole Hansen's farm in Kvieb?k.

- Why do we go there?
- I want to show you a poor well.

- That sounds interesting?
- It will be. I promise.

- Let us lift the well cover.

- That is disgusting.
- Exactly. Look at the wood-louses.

- I hope they do not fall into the well.
- They probably will.

- There is an earthworm.
- It might also fall into the well.

But you will see much worse sights.
- Let us close the well again.

- Yes. Let us look at the cover itself.

- It is a little worn.
- I would rather say rotten.

And it is covered in dirt.
- Where do the dirt come from?

- You will see.

- Oh, the cat is cute.
- Look at the mans feet instead.

- He put his foot in it.
- Yes. Now he goes to the well.

- Is she washing diapers?
- Yes.

- Now she steps in the dirty water.
- She is probably heading for the well.

- Probably.

- Oh, he is in dire straights.

- Or a sick person transmitting
his germs to the well.

- Yes.

A heartwarming room.

- There is a bucket.
It has to be emptied.

- Where does he take it?
- Probably to the dung heap as usual.

Trouble arises if there is
a sick person on the farm.

Because sooner or later the germs of
the sick person will go to the well.

- May I see inside the well?
- Certainly.

- Crikey!
- That is just a dead rat.

- Yikes. It does look sick as a dog.
- You should rather say sick as a rat.

- And what is that?
- A toad.

It will probably fall down to the rat.
- They would make a nice couple.

- Do you see the slimy walls?
- Where do all that moisture come from?

- It seeps in from the surroundings.
The engineer knows more about this.

- The dung heap lies near the well.

This is pictures of the real dung heap.

- What is on the other side of the well?

- That is a sewage pipe.
- Is there anything wrong with it?

- You will see.
- Perhaps the pipes do not seal tightly?

- Bravo. You are starting to catch up.
- Thank you.

- See how filth seeps in from both sides.
Do you know why?

- Because the walls are not water-tight?
- Correct. You get top marks.

- But the water from the faucet
is clear. - Do not be fooled.

Clear water can contain many germs. Many
illnesses can spread through water.

Typhoid, paratyphoid, Weil's disease,
dysentery, even infantile paralysis.

- Yikes!

- Is she washing strawberries?
- Yes. In water from the dung heap.

- She is not aware of that.
- No. Fortunately for her.

She does not know either, that she
brushes teeth in sewage water. - No.

- It is washing day.
- If he just knew about the dead rat.

- Yikes!

"Cleanliness is a good thing", ...
- the woman thinks, while she cools...

...the bathing water with dirty water.

Watch this.

The germ-filled sponge goes
into the mouth. - Yikes!

- How do you know,
that the water is full of the germs?

- That can be seen with a microscope.
Do you want to see? - Yes please.

That is a funny chap.
- That is the rotifer.

- I see.
- That is the rotifer's wife.

- I see, the small one.

- In a moment a nasty
fellow will turn up. Watch.

There he is. It is the sludge worm.
- He would be nice to have in your cup?

- Indeed. The water contains germs,
when these three animals are present.

- The danger is imminent. - Countless
dangers exist, when germs are present.

- Are you not exaggerating?
- Absolutely not.

- Suppose the water is used
to clean milk cans, then...

...typhoid germs will get into the milk.

- Then what will happen?
- In ten hours a single typhoid germ...

...can multiply into a million.

- Blimey!
- Yes.

Here you see the result.
An epidemic breaks out.

*Typhoid in Kvieb?k*

*The epidemic in Kvieb?k grows*
*167 cases last week*

*Source of infection in Kvieb?k found*
*Typhoid germs in the milk
from Ole Hansen's farm*

- Something should be done.
- Of course.

*The milk epidemic in Kvieb?k*
*Typhoid germs came from well water*
- But what?
- It is best to build small waterworks.

- Is that not very expensive?

- No. A waterworks for
20 farms costs 15000 Kr.

- How do you get such a waterworks?
- The community can seek help from...

...the country commission. Then a well
driller and a suitable spot is found.

- What is the tube used for?
- The tube is stuck into the ground.

Inside the tube a chisel
hammers the earth loose.

Afterwards a pump is lead into the tube
and the loose earth is sucked up.

- What happens when the good
groundwater is found?

- Then a waterworks
is built on top of the hole.

- What is happening? - The water
is aerated and iron is removed.

- Here it is filtered and pumped
out to the farms. - I see.

- It is my turn! Owing to waterworks
countrymen now have running water,...

...bathrooms and showers just like
city-dwellers. - That is right.

- The kitchen has hot and cold water.

- Even the cows are serviced.
- Then it is not difficult to be a cow?

- No. Exactly.

- Why do we return here?
- I will tell you.

Ole Hansen is getting a new well.
His farm lies too secluded to receive...

...water from the waterworks.
He builds his well properly this time.

He uses water-tight
concrete collars instead of bricks.

- Why is the new well not built
in the same place as the old?

- So filth from the dung heap and the
sewage pipe can not flow into it.

- Now it is my turn again!
Do you want to know more?

- Yes. Why do you show this movie to me?
It is for the countrymen.

- It is also for city-dwellers. You need
to inspect wells when you rent a dacha.

Did you not think of that?
- Honestly, no.

- Do you know why he puts
mortar between the collars?

- Of course. To seal the furrows
so filth can not enter. - Bravo.

- The top of the well must be above the
ground so surface water can not enter.

- He is on a roll.
- The cover must be of durable concrete.

- Bravo. - The cover must also
be sealed to avoid filth coming in.

- He is brilliant. - The well must
be placed slightly elevated,... surface water flows from the well.
- My hat is off to you.

- Mine is off too.

- Yes, that is water!
Real water as we learnt about in school.

Consisting of two parts hydrogen
and one part oxygen.

- Yes.
Not like the water from the old well,...

...which consisted of two parts rotifer
and one part sludge worm.

The End

Reconstructed by KimerFilm
for Det Danske Filminstitut