Documentation about the B12 rest area: the place where everyone gathers – Ebersberg

The parking lot is empty. One looks in vain at the trucks and their drivers at rest. There, where you can see the outlines of people behind the glass facade in the movie, guests are standing in front of them and smoking, the door opens and closes – there’s not much to see today. looks bleak. It is possible that the wooden bench in front of the windows has not greeted anyone on its old plates for a long time, and the bar counter with “Coca Cola” written lengthwise on the red table man. In some places, the red color begins to succumb to the harshness of the weather. The “Rasthaus B12” located on the federal road of the same name near Hohenlinden in the Ebersberg region is closed. This is what happened to the place that became known to the national audience in 2018 through the documentary “B12 – Died in the Next Life” by Christian Lerch: a small abandoned house on the edge of an abandoned parking lot next to the B12? The impression is deceptive – although some things have changed.

For several years, director Christian Lerch (right) visited his main protagonists Manny and Linz Gantner (left) at the B12 break.

(Photo: Peter Haines-Rosen)

When “B12” was released in cinemas in July 2018, Christian Lerch had been four years since he and his team had been filming here regularly. In fact, the creation of “B12” began even earlier, because it took a few years before filming began. Originally, documentation was not supposed to exist – the first cinematic ideas about this place were completely different.

For years, 56-year-old Lerch has been driving past his comfort zone next to the B12 – he lives in Steinhöring, a 15-kilometer drive away. Every Saturday there was a flea market in the spacious car park. This is still so. From time to time there were events – meetings of US car enthusiasts, rockers on chopper bikes, bulldog connoisseurs or tuning enthusiasts. Long-distance truck drivers spent their breaks here. There was always something going on in front of the break. What is this place that serves such a diverse clientele? This question was not left to Lerch alone. With each trip through this place, his curiosity grew.

So it so happened that one day he did not pass through this place as usual. From B 12 in the direction of Munich, turn right into the car park and enter the lounge. That was in 2012.

Having ordered a cup of coffee in the break, he sat down – and began to talk to people. The 56-year-old was bound, he says today. “There’s this little circle of regular guests, surrounded by many people from the area stopping by for a drink or for coffee. Then long-distance truck drivers on their way – and they all meet there.”

Originally, Christian Lerch had thought of the place as the location for a feature film

In fact, Lerch says, he was thinking of the intermission as the location for a fantasy series. However, that was before he stopped there for the first time. Since then, with each visit, he has become more aware: this does not fit. “Almost every time I’ve been here, something extraordinary has happened,” he says. “I really wanted to film that.”

So he developed the original concept into one that would weave the fictional and the documentary together. After a rehearsal photo session in 2014, it was clear to him: The documentary is stronger. In the end, a movie was made in which all imagination disappeared.

SZ Series: Off - Film Sets Around Munich: Last winter, a fire broke out in the bistro.

A fire broke out in the bistro last winter.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

SZ Series: DISCONTINUED - Movie scenes around Munich: Due to the extremely high heat, almost all of the inner workings have melted or burned.

Due to the extremely high heat, almost all the internal work has melted or burned.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

SZ series: discontinued - film sets about Munich: But Mane Gantner is not discouraged: next year he wants to open the store again.

But Manny Gantner is not discouraged: He wants to reopen the store next year.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

The duo that carries the film consists of Lenz Gantner and his son, Manny Gantner, the owner of the pub on the break. Everywhere there are characters like truck driver Manny Trimmel and many other regular guests as well as travelers who met here between 2014 and 2018. Even before the movie was edited, Lerch created a web series — unlike in the movie, some episodes show Lenz Gantner before he had his stroke. cerebral palsy. He was not sitting there in mittens in the summer sun, but with a newspaper at the bistro table. Each of the 21 episodes lasts three to five minutes, and the series is available on BR’s media library.

What the movie and web series have in common: They show places and people as they are. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes sad. Together, this results in a sensitive image of this place that combines many things, “a place fragmented, but with so much of the world in it,” as Lerch once said.

But where is this world now? Part of it on the A 94: The road between Pastetten and Heldenstein was opened three years ago. Since then, the traffic on B12 has decreased and with it the number of people looking for comfort.

However, the rest of the world is still here — even though it’s been reduced to the basic set for a few months: the interior of the bistro was destroyed by a fire, an accident with a candle, and no one was hurt, as Manny Gantner explains. He plans to reopen next year.

SZ Series: Off - Movie Sets Around Munich: Movie Banner

The “B12” movie sign can be seen from afar.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

SZ Series: Discontinued - Movies Sets Around Munich: Even more than four years after the theatrical release, Mane Gantner owns one or the other film merchandise.

Even more than four years after the theatrical release, Mane Gantner still has an item or two associated with the movie.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

SZ Series: Off - Movie scenes around Munich: The regulars table is still around today - with some new faces, but also well-known from the movie such as those accompanying the truck Mane Treml (second from left) or Mane Gantner (right) - and director Christian Sprinkle (front left) right in the middle.

The regulars’ table is still there today – with some new faces, but also familiar faces from the movie, like truck driver Manny Trimmel (second from left) or Manny Gantner (right) – and director Christian Lerch (front left) right in the middle.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

The movie still plays a major role in his life, says the 48-year-old. At the folk festival he is asked to take selfies. In the supermarket, fans praise him. Some of them even come here to take pictures in front of the house holding a “B12” movie sign. Only recently were eight young women from Munich here, before that there were a few men from Siegsdorf. He even still carries T-shirts with movie quotes or mugs with the actors’ heads on, as well as beer mugs and postcards – all the things he sold to fans of photography. The place is no longer just a place of rest, but a place of worship.

Gantner offers gifts in the garden, hidden among the patchwork of buildings here on the site. Three men are already sitting there, and a little later they are joined by Manny Trimmel, the truck operator from the movie. Only one thing is missing: Linz.

He passed away at the end of 2018 at the age of 90. “But it’s still all over the place here,” says Gantner. Even in the bistro, where everything is charred and charred, two pictures of him hang above a melting fuse box. Her condition is impeccable. “Lenz is just a zack.” And so there may be a sequel to this place and its people at some point, as Lerch finally reveals.

SZ Series: Discontinued - Film sets around Munich: The intense heat of the fire destroyed everything in the bistro - Everything but two pictures of Lenz Gantner, who died in 2018.

The sweltering heat of the fire destroyed everything in the bistro — all but two photos of Linz Gantner, who died in 2018.

(Photo: Christian Endt)

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