Things. Places. Years.
Often, in their representation, experiences of expulsion, emigration and the Holocaust are treated as things past. The documentary Things. Places. Years. recognises the past as part of the present. This past is part of our identities, as the descendants of those deported and forced into exile, as the children of witnesses, bystanders and perpetrators.
Things. Places. Years. shows the impact of forced emigration and the Holocaust in the lives of three generations of women in London. The film also focuses on their work. Nearly all of the twelve women featured in the film found their occupations in the cultural field. Most have a Jewish background. However, it is difficult to define what these women have in common. Is it their Jewishness or their interest in art and culture? Or is it how they confront the past?
The film does not construct a homogeneous female identity. Rather, Things. Places. Years. goes beyond the dilemma of ascription and determination. It gives these women ample space to speak about their identities, which is much more multifaceted than their identification as being Jewish. An identification that was cause for deportation and murder during the Nazi era. An identification that makes Jews out of men and women with a Jewish background. Until this film was made, these women had rarely been asked how they identify themselves.
Things. Places. Years. brings the women´s experiences and analyses to the screen. But it also focuses on quiet moments, silence and contemplativeness. In familiar surroundings, such as their homes or workplaces, women talk about their relationships to places, to things and about their Jewishness. The film also offers the opportunity for us to confront ourselves with anti-Semitism today. Something we should all take time to do. For, the past recurs in the present.
Translation: Rosa Reitsamer /
Thanks to Erika Doucette
Things. Places. Years. is a collection of interviews with Jewish women who fled National-Socialist Vienna for London. These emigrants, their daughters and granddaughters are given an opportunity to speak. The central theme is the experience passed on from generation to generation, which continues to affect the lives of young Jewish women today.
Things. Places. Years.
Austria, United Kingdom