Previously at the ICA - Films
6 Oct 2016
BFI Film Festival: 245 features. 74 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
In 1948 Paul Celan, a concentration camp survivor and esteemed post-war poet, met Ingeborg Bachmann, a fellow writer whose father was a Nazi. By 1971, Celan had committed suicide, before which the erstwhile lovers met on just one more occasion. However, they had amassed almost twenty years of long-distance correspondence. Inspired by fact and fiction, where document and literature intersect in the letters, Ruth Beckermann and writing partner Ina Hartwig (a literary agent) embarked on a screenplay based on the exchanges. The result is a cross between observational documentary and essay film, with a deceptively simple approach: two actors (Anja Plaschg and Laurence Rupp) read the letters in a recording studio. Applying a documentarian’s intuition to this set up, Beckermann keeps her camera rolling between readings and into cigarette breaks. Capturing Plaschg and Rupp’s palpable on-screen chemistry, Beckermann succeeds in evoking a contemporary ambulatory romance from the historical source material.
(Notes by Jemma Desai)
With support from the Austrian Cultural Forum London.
The Dreamed Ones (Die Geträumten, dir. Ruth Bekermann, Austria 2016, 89 mins, cert. 15.