Die papierene Brücke

The Paper Bridge

Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann's journey through her own family's history at the same time tells the story of Middle Europe's Jews and of a region. It takes her from Vienna, where her grandmother survived the war by pretending to be dumb (going into the woods to remind herself of the sound of her own voice) and to which her mother returned from Israel, to the landscapes that witnessed the persecution and, against all the odds, the survival of the Jews in Bukovina, once part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and now devided between Romania and the USSR. The film is energized by memories and above all by paradoxes: in the Jewish cemetery in Seret an old man is pleasantly surprised at his ability still to cast an image strong enough to register on film, a Hollywood company filming in a reconstructed Theresienstadt camp recruits Viennese Jews as extras, provided they look 'really Jewish'. Beckermann's film also shows frightening images of the current upsurge of antisemitism in Austria. A long sequence shot of a car driving along a foggy road sums up the contradictory movement of the film: to find a way into the future by going into the past.
Technical Data
Running time: 91
Format: 16mm
Screen ratio: 1:1.33
Sound: Josef Aichholzer, Reinhold Kaiser, Heinz Ebner
Language spoken: German
Category Civilisation / History
Subtitles: English
Production year: 1987
Director(s): Ruth Beckermann
Writer(s): Ruth Beckermann
Cinematography: Nurith Aviv
Editing: Gertraud Luschützky
Key cast: Rabbi Wassermann, Herbert Gropper, Salo Beckermann, Robert Schindel, Bronja Svierski, Menachem Golan, Betty Beckermann
Producer: Ruth Beckermann
Production company
Mariahilfer Straße 58/7
1070 Vienna
tel:+43 1 523 43 62
International Sales
Neubaugasse 45/13
1070 Vienna
tel:+43 1 526 09 90