Die Papierene Brücke
The film will be screened in the presence of: Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann was born in Vienna, where she also spent her childhood. After her studies in journalism and history of art in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York, she took her PhD in 1977 at the University of Vienna. She since contributed as a journalist to several Austrian and Swiss magazines. Since 1985 she works as a writer and filmmaker.
In “Paper Bridge," Ruth Beckermann visits the places of her father’s childhood in the Bucovina region, where her family was forcibly moved from decades ago. The journey begins on a misty day in the town of Rădăuți, steeped in mystery and seemingly asleep in a fairytale-like timelessness. Despite being set in the late 1980s, the film shows little sign of the communist regimes of Romania. The clues the director is after originate in a more distant past, from before the war, and their traces begin to make an appearance: a public steam bath that used to belong to the Jewish community and that is now being used by the Romanian village women, or a Jewish cemetery where personal tragedies are still being recounted by one of the last survivors of the pre-World War II era. Next on her journey, Beckermann crosses the border into former Yugoslavia and stops in the town of Osiek (now part of Croatia), where she talks to Jewish extras brought from all over Europe to lend credibility to the production of an American film about the Holocaust. Slowly, the melancholic tone of the documentary becomes increasingly nuanced, making room for more and more observations on the present and thus revealing — after no more than four decades from one of biggest atrocities in history — people’s inability or indifference when it comes to learning from the mistakes of past generations and ridding themselves of anti-semitism, which culminated with the ample criminal actions of the Nazis. (Andrei Rus)
awards and festivals
Berlin International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Montecatini International Film Festival