Director / DP
Video Editor
Digital Colourist
Maria Lee-Warren, SOUND
Funded by
Magnum Photos


2012, 5″38′

Malaise is a documentary short film and photographic series exploring Beelitz-Heilstätten through visuals and sounds. Built from 1898 as a sanatorium to care for victims of tuberculosis its intended use soon became distorted, serving as a German military hospital during World War 1 and 2, and Soviet military hospital after World War 2.

Prominent historical figures recuperated in the hospital, notably; Adolf Hitler, after being wounded at the Battle of Somme during WW1, as well as Erich Honecker following his dismissal as the head of the East German government. In 1989, the grounds became the scene of 6 murders as necrophilic serial killer Wolfgang Schmidt, also known as “The Beast of Beelitz”, terrorised the area. Once considered amongst the most advanced hospitals in Europe, Beelitz-Heilstätten has been abandoned and left to dilapidate due to discrepancies over ownership. 

views on Vimeo

Counting more than 60 buildings spread over 200 acres, linked via underground tunnels, Malaise delves into a small fraction of the “healing town”, but attempts to convey its unsettling atmosphere through subtle camera movements, sound, and a distinct, yet delicate treatment of colours and tones. The film was first screened in April 2013 at the Magnum Print Room in London. Subsequently, it was uploaded to and staff picked by Vimeo. The film has had more than 100,000 views since and was screened at a number of European film festivals.