"I do not know how to rid the world of evil, and whether one is simply supposed to endure it. But you are there and have an effect, and the poems have an effect of their own and protect you.' Ingeborg Bachmann'dan Paul Celan'a (From the film)
A brilliant and inspired account of the love between poet Paul Celan and writer Ingeborg Bachmann, one of the great and impossible love stories of modern times.
In 1948, Paul Celan, the Romanian poet and Holocaust survivor, met Ingeborg Bachmann, a fellow writer whose father was a Nazi. Until 1971, when Celan committed suicide, the lovers met only once more; but they remained in love, expressed through letters, for over 20 years. Raw, romantic, filled with love and longing, envy, pain, vulnerability and regret, the letters chronicle an impossible love under a complex political and historical shadow. Director Ruth Beckermann takes what seems at first a simple approach: two actors (Plaschg and Rupp) read the letters in a recording studio. Gradually, they become captivated by the tumultuous emotions expressed on the page. They become fond of one another and start arguing, smoking together, discussing their tattoos and favourite music. As the camera rolls, yesterday's love becomes a possiblity of today, and tomorrow -- and there lies the poetic heart of the film.
2016 BERLIN, TORONTO, LONDON
Ruth Beckermann was born in Vienna. She studied journalism and history of art in Vienna, and Tel Aviv, and photography in New York. Her films as director include East of War (1996), A Fleeting Passage to the Orient (1998), American Passages (2011), and Those Who Go, Those Who Stay (2013). The Dreamed Ones (2016) is her latest film.