This documentary portrait of Bulgarian Jewish filmmaker, novelist, partisan warrior, and lifelong revolutionary Angel Wagenstein introduces American viewers to a brilliant and charismatic artist, for whom art became a form of resistance against a series of oppressive and corrupt regimes. It is also a meditation on what his life and films reveal about the intimate realities of Cold War culture in a divided and contentious post-war Europe, and the vertiginous transformations of 1989 and after in the former Eastern Bloc states.
Konrad Wolf, East Germany/Bulgaria, 1959, 88m
German, Bulgarian, Yiddish, and Ladino with English subtitles
This gripping drama, based on the personal story of screenwriter Angel Wagenstein during the Holocaust in the Balkans, sheds light on the Sephardic experience of WWII. Stationed in a secluded Bulgarian village in 1943, Walter, an artist and sergeant in the Wehrmacht, lives an almost idyllic life far away from the war. Soon, a transit camp is set up for Jews arriving from Greece. When Ruth, one of the Greek Jews, asks Walter to help a pregnant woman in the camp, the two form an unlikely bond. Presented in a new digital restoration from the original 35mm negative.
Stars also screens on Thursday, January 12 at 1:00pm