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THE LONG VACATION OF LOTTE EISNER

West Germany, 1979 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Sohrab Shahid Saless

"When, on April 1 st, 1933,1 travelled for the last time on a sleeper to Paris, my sister and brother-in-law awaited me at the station. It was like an April-fool's joke. My brother-in-law said to me, 'You've really come here to take a vacation ...' And I said to him, 'Oh, Gene, this will be a long vacation!' For I knew that Germany was for me the Fatherland I had once had.

... Actually, with Germany in Autumn, l understood what new German Cinema meant. I had written in my book, The Haunted Screen, quite pessimistically about the German film, and ended with the sentence: hopefully Germany will recall its past film culture Some years later, I saw films by Schlondorff, Herzog and Wenders, and I wrote to Fritz Lang in America: there are good German films again. But the eternally disappointed Lang, whose last films in Germany failed to find a good echo, wrote back to me: I can't believe it But it's true. I also saw films by Fleichmann, Hauff, and others — and with Germany in Autumn I understood that New German Cinema was born. What they tried to show in this film — on one side, the nation's laying-to-rest of Hanns Martin Schleyer; on the other side, the burial of the terrorists, to which young people thronged. The filmmakers couldn't say everything — but they were able to show it through their despair. The Germans need this despair. Exactly as in Buchner's time Buchner had to flee because he was a revolutionary. During the years of the Economic Miracle there weren't many important films made, because people were too materialistic. Things should not go too well for Germany — otherwise, 'Kleinburgertum' steps to the fore, and not creativity..."

— Lotte Eisner

See also...

DIARY OF A LOVER

This is the latest film from Iranian director Sohrab Shahid Saless, who is now based in Berlin. The protagonist of this film is supposedly the boy from Coming of Age (seen in last year's Festival) ... More »

FAR FROM HOME

In his first film made in Germany, expatriate Iranian director, Sohrab Shahid Saless, creates a portrait of another expatriate: a Turkish factory worker in Berlin. ... Saless' camera observes the ... More »

COMING OF AGE

Iranian director, Sohrab Shahid Saless, whose memorable Still Life was shown at the 1975 Melbourne Film Festival, and who is now working in Germany, traces the painful maturing of a ten year old boy ... More »

THE TIN DRUM

Volker Schlondörff has been at the head of German production since the mid-sixties when the revival in quality commenced. His earlier films like Young Torless, The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum, The ... More »

SISTERS OR THE BALANCE OF HAPPINESS

After working as an actress and script-writer, Margarethe von Trotta has now directed two features. The first The Second Awakening of Christa Klages is currently in distribution in Australia and her ... More »

MAN AMONG MANKIND

"Today 35,000 Jews live in the German Bundes-republik. They live amongst us and with us. But there is still no unbiased human and civic relationship towards each other. One has not yet found the ... More »

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