American Passages

 

 

The film starts with the jubilance about the election of the first black president of the United States. But we end with the feeling that what has been achieved is only temporary: at a party in Las Vegas, which fancies itself as a charity event and is full of white people, the kind of nuances become audible that gradually turned into loud hatred in 2016 during the election of Barack Obama’s successor. Beckermann’s portrait of the United States oscillates between powerlessness and progress, and revolves around the proud constitution written by the founding fathers, whose wealth was built by slaves, as well as the promise of happiness, which a school full of African-American pupils fires itself up with: “I’m a winner, not a loser.” The old American combination of dream and pressure is felt in a conversation with a woman who auctions away belongings from lost lives. Opening the storage spaces called “boxes” is like celebrating Christmas every day, she first says enthusiastically, but when asked about the fates of the people who have lost the auctioned goods, she refers to the job as something she is reliant on to make a living. “I try not to look at the photographs,” she says, for this – like in Beckermann’s films – is where the stories become real. (md)

 

 

Austria 2011
120 Min. Color. DCP. E/d

Director: Ruth Beckermann

Script: Ruth Beckermann

Camera: Antoine Parouty, Lisa Rinzler

Editor: Dieter Pichler


 

Ruth Beckermann - The Poetry of the Ephemeral
Bildrausch 2018