Presented by the 2011 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: Faces of Migration.
March 2, 8:00 PM at McConomy Auditorium
2010; 83 min.
2010 Best Female Performance Award, São Paulo
2010 Premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2011 Exhibited at Universität Graz, Graz, Austria
2010 Exhibited at Warsaw Film Festival, Warsaw, Poland
In an attempt to fully comprehend the significance of her "foreign" ancestry, Andréa, a filmmaker living in Amsterdam, decides to interview her family members. She discovers that each of her siblings has lived in diverse locales abroad, but she struggles to understand the ambiguous link between her mother and the rest of her family. To her chilling surprise, she realizes that her siblings and her mother all have difficulty suppressing a deep psychological trauma that cursed them in the distant past.
Determined to seek an explanation for this painful memory that consistently resurfaces, Andréa begins to focus her inquiry on what historical event could have possibly caused this tremendous anguish. She reaches a shocking revelation: Edith, Andréa's Jewish mother, was only three years old when she witnessed her parents escape from Nazi Germany on the very last boat, in 1939. The path of migration now evolves into a dizzying labyrinth, as the perilous act of fleeing from eminent danger meets the subsequent attraction to exotic foreign destinations. The life of the twentieth-century Jewish migrant transforms from a historical narrative into a psychological thriller.
Mieke Bal adds visual intensity to her academic lifestyle through the art of filmmaking. She is a world-renowned film director as well as a distinguished professor at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her cinematic work, including experimental documentaries and video installations, focuses on migration and the distinct idea of "migratoriness." Her mind-bending works, such as Separations, State of Suspension, Becoming Vera, and Nothing is Missing are featured in worldwide exhibitions.