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Resonance: Embracing the future with Reni Mertens and Walter Marti

Kurzfilmprogramm: Der Kontinent Reni Mertens & Walter Marti

Reni Mertens, Walter Marti

Switzerland 1955−1974. 98 Min.

The landscape of Mertens & Marti charted through their short films: Jour de pêche could be called an idyll, if only the word didn’t have such a negative connotation today: images of a fisherman, the wind making the water curl, but further out also factories – quite simply everyday life, yet a complex juxtaposition of rural and urban work. Krippenspiel II has a fundamentally different form: deaf children (led by the special needs teacher Mimi Scheiblauer) perform the nativity according to Luke. It is all very strict, very theatrical, and harbours pure cinema of immeasurable beauty. Even Im Schatten des Wohlstandes is about children, but their illnesses – if that’s what we want to call them – are civilisational in nature: their parents have to abandon them to keep up with their jobs; frustration is the core of capitalism. Gebet für die Linke was the last short film by Mertens & Marti, which fits well into a series of works that look like they belong together: on the one hand images from Zurich’s Oerlikon district, which houses both immigrant workers and the arms industry. On the other hand, there are the words of the Archbishop of Olinda e Recife and world-famous liberation theologian Dom Hélder Câmara, who after a lecture at the Züspa Hall said a prayer for the Left, at the request of Walter Marti. At the time, the film was an afterword to the Bührle affair – today it is a prime example of religious and political cinema. (om)

 

Jour de pêche (Fishing Day)

Switzerland 1955-1958
15 min. Color. 16 mm. No dialogue
Director, Screenplay: Reni Mertens, Walter Marti

 

Krippenspiel II (Nativity Play II)

Switzerland 1962
27 min. B/W. 35 mm/16 mm. No dialogue
Director, Screenplay: Reni Mertens, Walter Marti
 

Im Schatten des Wohlstands (In the Shadow of Prosperity)

Switzerland 1961
28 min. B/W. 35 mm/16 mm. D/e
Director, Screenplay: Reni Mertens, Walter Marti
 

Gebet für die Linke (A Prayer for the Left)

Switzerland 1974
28 min. Color. 16 mm. D/e
Director, Screenplay: Reni Mertens, Walter Marti
 

CREDITS

DirectorReni Mertens, Walter Marti
ScreenplayReni Mertens, Walter Marti

Reni Mertens, Walter Marti