Austria. Dir. Ruth Beckermann. 2016, 89 mins. Digital projection. With Anja Plaschg, Laurence Rupp. In German with English subtitles. A passionate, doomed literary love affair is brought to life in this inventive, one-of-a-kind meta-romance. Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan were two giants of postwar German-language poetry whose unlikely affair (he was the son of Jewish Holocaust victims, she the daughter of a Nazi) lasted only months but sparked hundreds of letters exchanged over the course of decades—documents of two brilliant minds working through heady questions of art, postwar guilt, and politics, as well as their own complex feelings for one another. Their soul-baring correspondence is related via two magnetic actors who, in channeling the writers, discover their own spark of attraction—a continuation of a love story that resonates across decades.
This film is part of MoMI’s Panorama Europe Film Festival.