Life? or Theatre?

Frans Weisz, The Netherlands, 2011, color / black and white, HDcam, 85'
Synopsis

German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon created a 700-page painted life story that she called Life? or Theatre? A play with music. She left it for safekeeping shortly before being deported in 1943, saying, "Take good care of this, it's my whole life!" Prior to that, after Kristallnacht, her father and stepmother had sent Charlotte to her grandparents in the south of France. Here, she witnessed the suicide of her grandmother and was told that her mother had ended her life in a similar way, in 1926. In order not to go mad Charlotte decides to undertake "something really extravagantly crazy" and created Life? or Theatre? in eighteen months. Not long after that, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she was killed. Dutch director Frans Weisz made a feature film about her life and work in 1980. At the time, Weisz got hold of a previously unpublished letter, which forms the leitmotif in this documentary about Salomon's life. The leading actress who played Charlotte in Weisz's film visits the places where Salomon made her paintings. Excerpts from the feature film are mixed with black-and-white family photos, images of the paintings, and interviews with the people involved. They read the letter for the first time and give their views on a shocking revelation.

IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA to present themed program on The Female Gaze September 9, 2014 | During the upcoming festival, IDFA will present a themed program on the role of women in documentary called The Female Gaze. Fifteen leading international female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have put together a program of old and new documentaries by themselves and other female directors.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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