The Journey Southwards
The Journey Southwards
IDFA 1990

The Journey Southwards

Sprong naar het zuiden
Hans Keller
59 min
Festival history
The great admiration that journalist Hans Keller has for the Russian author Konstantin Paustovskij (1892-1968) has resulted in this personal documentary. With regard to the Russian revolution, Paustovskij wrote in his memoirs: "Within a few months, Russia has said everything that had been kept quiet for centuries".

Over 70 years later, this statement can again be applied to the present situation in Russia. During the Russian revolution, Paustovskij had made the trip from Leningrad, via Moscow and Kiev, to Odessa dozens of times. Hans Keller's wish to once follow Paustovskij's footsteps is fulfilled with a travelfilm. Keller, Paustovskij's Dutch translator Wim Hartog, and a camera crew went to Russia in the spring of 1989 to make this journey to Odessa.

Keller has called this filmed report de sprong naar het zuiden, from one volume of Paustovskij's memoirs. Keller collects visual impressions: parks full of flowers, impressive buildings, Russian living rooms, and especially the changing seasons when the crew travels further south. Keller not only pays a visit to the places that played a part in Paustovskij's life, but also to the people, like his children. His stepdaughter holds his glasses in front of the camera as if they were some kind of relic. His son tells a beautiful anecdote about Paustovskij's meeting with Marlène Dietrich.

De sprong naar het zuiden is a subtle portrait of an intelligent writer, as well as a poetic account of a pilgrimage.
World Sales
    Nederlands Filminstituut
    Nederlands Filminstituut