Hiwwe wie Driwwe, The Roots of PA Dutch

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Run Time: 90 min.

400,000 Americans speak a Palatine dialect? In the documentary film “Hiwwe wie Driwwe” by Benjamin Wagener and Christian Schega, Douglas Madenford, born and raised in Pennsylvania, goes on a search for traces in his homeland and the Palatinate. Doug meets many people and learns what is left of the Palatine language and culture in America and how it has developed “hiwwe wie driwwe”, here in Germany and over in America. About 300 years ago many people from the Palatinate fled from political persecution as well as for economic reasons to the USA and settled mainly in and around Pennsylvania. They also brought their language and culture to the New World. Both have survived to this day in large parts. In America, people still speak their variant of the Palatine dialect: the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch.

The documentary HIWWE WIE DRIWWE (90 minutes) is a search for traces of the Palatine language and culture – in Germany and America. The film will be presented with English subtitles. The America premiere is on June 18th 2019 at the German Consulate in New York. Afterwards the tour leads through various locations like Washington D.C., Clark (NJ), Staunton (VA), Philadelphia (PA), Lancaster (PA), Reading (PA), Hamburg (PA) and of course Kutztown (PA) at the Kutztown Folkfestival. The filmmakers will be present for discussions on all locations.


Background: The two Palatinate filmmakers Benjamin Wagener (direction, producing, camera, editing) and Christian Schega (direction and producing) have been working together on HIWWE WIE DRIWWE since 2015. In 2017 it was shot in the USA and Germany. The project was supported by the Kulturstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz, the Bezirksverband Pfalz, the Sparkassen Stiftung Germersheim-Kandel and numerous crowdfunders.