Singing in Oblivion. 2021. Austria. Filmmaker Eve Heller. Digital. World premiere. 13 min.
I don’t believe in voice-over.
I am an echo chamber of forgotten lives and disappeared worlds, a free-floating song, heaven walks the earth.
Vienna’s Jewish Währinger cemetery opened to the public in 1784, during an era of tolerance and prosperity that eventually coincided with the dawn of photography. With the rise of Nazism, this historical jewel of a Biedermeier cemetery was variously desecrated and became an overgrown wilderness, though passersby noted it sounded as if a paradise of birds was locked behind its high stone walls. The graveyard today bears further scars of political and inertial neglect. Without the care of generations displaced or killed during the Nazi era, graves have been decimated by the falling branches and uncontrolled growth of ancient trees while the words and symbols on tombstones disappear into dust. Singing in Oblivion interweaves footage shot on location with images painstakingly lifted from antique glass negatives and printed one frame at a time in a darkroom onto 35mm film strips.
In honor of refugees past, present and future, facing the loss of life, loved ones, language, and homeland, in kindred empathy with their children, and in thanks to all those who offer compassionate sanctuary. - Eve Heller
This Day’s Madness did prepare Tomorrow’s Silence. 2021. USA. Filmmakers David Gatten and Ashley West. 16mm. World premiere. 77 min.
There are two women.
Or there were two women.
Or there will be two women.
One of them is here today.
No one knows about tomorrow.
There is one river, there are two oceans, three registers, four velocities, five planes of time, six expanses of space, seven ways to listen.
Time is measured out but each interval has its own Eternity.
- David Gatten and Ashley West