Wednesday, April 14, 2021

‘Still Life in Lodz’ Review: A Painting Women’s Window

Lavishly celebrated conceit “Still Life in Lodz” It is that some objects become passive witnesses of history. This documentary, directed by Slawomir Grunberg, Lilka Elbaum, a historical researcher born in Lodz, Poland, begins with a painting from the apartment in Lodz, where she grew up. She states that the painting had been hanging on a wall since 1893. It was the first thing he saw in the morning, and its absence left “gaping wounds” on the wall When his family moved out of Poland in 1968, he moved to North America to escape anti-Semitism.

Grunberg and the album interpreted stories of departure from different periods. Elboom meets Ronnie Ben Arry, an Israeli-born photographer whose family lived in the Elboom building decades before moving to Poland in 1926. Paul Sailor, a real-estate developer in New Jersey, Tour Lodz, is searching for Lodz life with the album. With her mother, who spent two years in the Lodz ghetto and was then taken to Auschwitz. Elboom also tells the story of Pola Erlich, a dentist who lived in Elbaum’s last apartment before World War II. He was sent to the Lodz ghetto and the Chelmno death camp.

Since Erlich lived in the apartment that would later become the album, his story fit through the central line – that a lifeless painting could open a window to frequent tragedies. But most of the content seems arbitrarily chosen – and sometimes just arbitrary. (Elbaum visits a contemporary Polish flea market seeking information about the creator of the painting, who was Russian. Is this a logical place to look?) Personal stories are powerful, as are present-day and historical locations. There are visual comparisons between. Some animated sequences effectively develop memory.

Still life in lodges
Not rated. Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes. View through virtual cinema.

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