© DEFA Stiftung, Norbert Kuhroeber
In cooperation with the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival and supported by the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation, the JFBB screened a selection of Polish and DEFA feature films dealing with the Jewish experience in August. Now the films will be shown in Warsaw, including the DEFA classics THE BLUM CASE, A STORY OF A MURDER and THE ACTRESS and the Polish films THE LAST STAGE and THE PASSENGER.
The relationship of the GDR and the People's Republic of Poland towards Jewish experience was, in light of the Nazi occupation, Shoah and the Cold War, characterised in several respects by reinterpretations of history. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DEFA film studios the JFBB und the Warsaw Jewish Film Festival embark on a cinematic journey through time, taking us from the first reflections on the Shoah shortly after the end of the war to feature films from the 1980s. Interesting in this regard are the themes and protagonists that go unmentioned: these number the exodus of the remaining Jews, provoked in 1968 with reference to barely-plausible political arguments, as well as a fitting portrayal of Jewish suffering during the German occupation. The series explores not only how the approach of films from both countries towards history and anti-Semitism was determined by political guidelines, but also sheds light on the gaps these cinematic attempts at remembrance left behind and how the filmmakers, often Jewish, nevertheless tried to reflect on a topic burdened by both history and politics in a dignified manner.
The 19th Warsaw Jewish Film Festival takes place from 15-21 November at the Polin Museum and online. The core of the programme is the feature and documentary film competitions, an extensive short film programme and numerous special screenings, including a retrospective with a selection of films by Aleksander Ford, one of the first directors to make sound films in Yiddish. Bernd Buder, programme director of the JFBB, is a member of the feature film jury in Warsaw.
Information on the screenings as part of the "journey through time" series: