Two stories of women coping with and working through their own sense of self as it relates to family ties. Together both Shift, and I Cannot Tell You How I Feel observe the pillars of family life that shape and support our sense of selves and ask the viewers to ponder how identity and family are and aren’t intertwined.
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Mar 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm
I Cannot Tell You How I Feel & Shift
Discussion following the screening with filmmaker Su Friedrich
Schicht (Shift) is both a reckoning and a search for traces of the past. Alex Gerbaulet embarks on a trip through the industrial city of Salzgitter, West Germany: mining, steel factory, model city. The film unfolds the portrait of the filmmaker’s family, brought to life by records from private archives. Her father Rudolf completes his apprenticeship at the Reichswerke Hermann Göring, works in the mine and at the Volkswagen plant. His wife Doris suffers from multiple sclerosis. They name their younger daughter after a singer: Alexandra. As a rebellious punk she takes a different path. Pulsating, sometimes breathless, Schicht follows the exposed (hi)stories. Everything is subjected to the filmmaker’s interpretation. A film between analysis and imagination, between the noise of the highway and the silence of abandoned mines, like Schacht Konrad, in which from 2020 nuclear waste will be dumped.
Winner of the Best Female Director at Vienna Shorts, SHIFT was called a, “powerful and personal documentary that ties together archival material from diverse sources to narrate a family’s history and is deeply linked to a nation’s forgotten past.” Gerbaulet also was awarded the First Film Award at FID Marseille where the jury noted, “a film that seized us for its precision and the high articulation between sound and text, and sometimes its own absence, with the images, revealing an intimate, ordinary yet historical account. A striking and radical short film.”
2016, 29 min.
I Cannot Tell You How I Feel
2016, 42 min.
Acclaimed filmmaker Su Friedrich has taken up the camera again in her ongoing quest to film the battleground of family life for what Giovanni Marchini Camia writes in Fandor is, ““A moving, tragic, frequently funny, and profoundly empathetic consideration of mortality and filial responsibility”
This time she takes on the condition of her mother, Lore, as she is forced to undergo a move at the age of 94 from her home in Chicago to an “independent living” facility in New York. Despite protests from their reluctant mother, Friedrich and her two siblings cajole, and comfort her through the move all while processing their own anxiety about aging, responsibility and family.
Since 1978, Su Friedrich has produced and directed twenty-four 16mm films and videos, including I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, Gut Renovation, From the Ground Up, Seeing Red, The Odds of Recovery, Hide and Seek, Sink or Swim, Damned If You Don’t, The Ties That Bind, and Gently Down the Stream.
Friedrich is the writer, cinematographer, director and editor of all her films, with the exception of Hide and Seek, which was co-written by Cathy Quinlan and shot by Jim Denault.
Her films have won many awards, including Grand Prix at the Melbourne Film Festival, Outstanding Documentary Award at Outfest and Best Narrative Film Award at the Athens International Film Festival. She has received Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, numerous grants from the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council of the Arts and The Independent Television Service. She was also a recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts.
Eighteen retrospectives of her work have been held, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema, the National Film Theater in London, and several others. Her work is screened widely throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Since 1998, Friedrich has been teaching film & video production at Princeton University. A boxed set of her work, comprising 13 films on five DVDs is distributed by Outcast Films.
Alex Gerbaulet, 1977, artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. Till 2007 she studied Philosophy, Media Science and Fine Arts. Since 2008 she was awarded several scholarships and grants. 2007-2011 she was staff member at the University of Arts in Braunschweig, 2012-2014 she teached at the University of Arts in Kassel. Since 2014 she is part of pong film Berlin. She realized several video-art projects. SCHICHT is her first cinema film.