Press release, May 4, 2022 

Tribute to Heddy Honigmann & Focus: Wound/Wonder

The 11th Bildrausch – Filmfest Basel pays homage to the Dutch-Peruvian filmmaker Heddy Honigmann. The tribute includes four of her cinematic milestones, created between 1988 and 1999. The thematic focus program Wound/Wonder deals with the wounds and wonders of human existence. Bildrausch will be staged as an in-person festival; new venues are the Kaserne Basel and the Gare du Nord. Selected films will be available online and barrier-free for 48 hours. As the festival’s new artistic director, Susanne Guggenberger is responsible for the program for the first time.


“I want the program to focus on the present moment. What do the films evoke in us? What do they touch? The world outside of cinema and within Europe is shaken. Exploring commonalities through films during the festival on site creates new possibilities within us. And we need them urgently,” Susanne Guggenberger explains. “In the thematic focus Wound/Wonder and in the works by Heddy Honigmann, abysses and devotion to life lie close together. I’m fascinated by these currents, which become visible because we allow individual films to form a relationship with each other,” says the new artistic director of Bildrausch and adds: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract new venues for two appropriate programs, and that we’ll be offering some films in barrier-free versions.”


Bildrausch Tribute to Heddy Honigmann

Director Heddy Honigmann has influenced generations of documentary filmmakers. The 70-year-old is one of the major figures of Dutch cinema and stands for humanistic filmmaking that revolves around the power of memory and the unconditional will to live. With two feature films and two documentaries, the Bildrausch tribute comprises four key works that Honigmann shot between 1988 and 1999. Their themes range from a passionate love affair in Amsterdam and the fate of an aging Dutch couple in Nova Scotia to resistant cab drivers in Lima and UN peacekeepers in the world’s war zones. Due to Heddy Honigmann’s serious illness, her producers Suzanne van Voorst and Pieter van Huystee will attend the festival on her behalf. 


Tot Ziens (Goodbye), Fiction, Netherlands 1995
“A man can love two women, but he can’t have two women,” it says in the film. And, indeed, the amour fou between Laura and the married Jan doesn’t last. But its glow lingers on for a long time. Tot Ziens is a close-up of passion.


Hersenschimmen (Mindshadows), Fiction, Netherlands 1988
Maarten and Vera Klein live in a remote community in Nova Scotia, Canada. The sea is gray, the snow swirls around the house. It has begun. Whole sentences are forgotten, orientation fades. A fascinating love story set against the backdrop of an ominous diagnosis.


Metal and Melancholy, Documentary, Netherlands 1994
Peru, early 1990s. Inflation, corruption and the terrorism of the Shining Path are shaking the foundations of the state. Those who can, earn extra money in Lima by offering cab rides in their own cars. The collective portrait of a disenchanted middle class. “Life is hard, but beautiful.”


Crazy, Documentary, Netherlands 1999
A war is never over. From stories told by Dutch UN peacekeepers about the trauma of bloodshed in Korea, Rwanda and the Balkans, from photo albums, letters and musical memories, a haunting manifesto of pacifism emerges.


Focus: Wound/Wonder 

The thematic focus Wound/Wonder deals with unimagined powers of resistance. The films Gentle, Geographies of Solitude, Hot in Day, Cold at Night and Republic of Silence couldn’t be more different. Yet they share a deep longing for integrity and devotion to life. Wonders happen, even on the edge of the abyss.


Hot in Day, Cold at Night, by Park Song-yeol (South Korea 2022)
Young-tae and Jeong-hee are well educated but still can’t find a steady job. When trading stamps and credit cards can no longer bridge the financial abyss and the couple’s integrity erodes, the bone-dry question arises of what comes first: food or morality?


Gentle by Anna Eszter Nemes, László Csuja (Hungary, Germany 2021)
Calorie-counting, doping and a relationship of convenience – for Edina, no sacrifice is too great to win the most prestigious title in bodybuilding. But beneath the shiny, athletic surface of her armored body, a need for tenderness is stirring. Unconventional, naturalistic and powerful.


Geographies of Solitude by Jacquelyn Mills (Canada 2022)
In the middle of the Atlantic lies a paradise where wild horses gallop over sandy dunes. For over 40 years, Zoe Lucas has lived and worked on Sable Island in complete harmony with nature, interrupted only by the plastic waste that washes ashore. A grainy portrait of a distant place of longing.


Republic of Silence by Diana El Jeiroudi (Syria, Germany, Qatar, France 2021)
Diana El Jeiroudi got her first camera at the age of seven. Since then, she has been constantly filming. In Damascus, she captured how the city of her childhood descended into war; in exile in Berlin, she finds peace. Her perspective is both personal and political – silent, but never mute. Can cinema save lives?


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