Skip to main content

THE WOMAN WITH THE 5 ELEPHANTS

Switzerland / Germany, 2009 (MIFF 2010, Documentaries)

Director: Vadim Jendreyko

“Compelling, moving and thought-provoking… an intellectually-stimulating crowd-pleaser.” - Hollywood Reporter

Swetlana Geier has spent sixty years of her life translating great Russian literature into German, including Dostoyevsky's five major novels - his ‘elephants' as she describes them. For Geier, translation is a work of creativity, a craft that rests on finding words that resonate from one culture to another.

A sleeper hit at the Vienna and Rotterdam film festivals, The Woman with the 5 Elephants follows the charismatic Geier as she returns to the Ukraine for the first time since the war, her musings on translation giving way to musings on her own extraordinary life lived under both Stalinist persecution and Nazi occupation.

D/S Vadim Jendreyko P Hercli Bundi, Vadim Jendreyko, Mira Film WS Mira Film L German, Russian w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2009

See also...

THE SALTMEN OF TIBET

Under the most inhospitable of conditions in one of the most remote regions in the world, director Ulrike Koch has documented the journey and rituals of a nomadic Tibetan community. The fact that she ... More »

ECHOES OF HOME

Who would imagine that Swiss avant-garde yodelling could bring so much joy? Well, it does. Enter the wondrous sonic world of three exceptional Swiss vocal artists whose universe of sound extends far ... More »

THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF

Documentary and fiction is blurred to striking effect in this love story between a macho ex-con and a transsexual, former drug addict. ... Mary and Enzo's unusual union commenced behind prison bars ... More »

PIANOMANIA

It's said that you save 50% energy when you're satisfied with 90% of perfection - this film is about the last ten percent. ... Eighty-eight keys, 230 strings on a cast iron frame, a weight of 480 ... More »

COOKING HISTORY

6 wars, 10 recipes, 60,361,024 dead. ... If the cooks went on strike would there still be war? Pondering this question and looking at six of the greatest, bloodiest wars of Europe's past, Cooking ... More »

PICTURE ME: A MODEL’S DIARY

“One of the best films about the world of modelling and an honest portrayal of an industry built on artifice.” - Guardian ... After tagging along with his partner, model Sara Ziff, to photo ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director