Die papierene Brücke
The Paper Bridge

 

 

“I am filmated”, says old Herbert Gropper triumphantly in Bukowina, a region belonging to Romania, in a German that betrays its distance to active usage: “This time for immortality. I wouldn’t even have dreamed of the possibility of giving rise to a film image one day.” His words reflect the poetry and politics of Ruth Beckermann’s films, and The Paper Bridge occupies a central place in her opus. “Resistance over time”, Gropper says about the role of the Jewish cemetery in the Romanian town of Siret. And this is what the film is about: it brings together what once was with present-day topics, and expands on the filmmaker’s own family history. Beckermann’s father came from the East, and his migratory paths towards the West are retraced by impressive and characteristic camera movements in buses and cars from right to left. From Jewish life in Romania and Yugoslavia in the mid-1980s – which was a result of the Holocaust – to Vienna, where Austrian fascism rears its anti-Semitic face on the streets in the wake of the Waldheim affair. Between these two poles we have Jews from Austria who play themselves in an American television production, among other things because this gives them the opportunity to free themselves from history. (md)

 

 

Austria 1987
95 Min. Color. DCP. D/e

Director: Ruth Beckermann

Script: Ruth Beckermann

Camera: Nurith Aviv, Claire Bailly du Bois

Editor: Gertraud Luschützky

Music: Arvo Pärt

Cast: Rabbi Wassermann, Herbert Gropper, Salo Beckermann, Robert Schinde


 

Ruth Beckermann - The Poetry of the Ephemeral
Bildrausch 2018