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Directed by Ruth Beckermann

Germany, Austria 2016 89 mins. In German

In 1948, Paul Celan, a concentration camp survivor and esteemed post-war poet, met Ingeborg Bachmann, a writer whose father was a Nazi. They met again on just one more occasion, nonetheless generating almost 20 years of long-distance correspondence before Celan’s suicide in 1971. Inspired by fact and fiction, where document and literature intersect in the letters, Beckerman’s film is a cross between observational documentary and essay film. She kept the camera rolling between takes of two actors reading the letters, capturing palpable on-screen chemistry and evoking a contemporary romance from the historical source material.

Reviews: Little White Lies, Another Gaze

Interviews: Interview with Ruth Beckermann at Cinema Scope

Filmography: Those Who Go Those Who Stay (2013), American Passages (2011), Zorros Bar Mizwa (2006), Homemad(e) (2001), East of War (1996)



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.