MS Slavic 7

Between 1957 and 1964, Polish poet Zofia Bohdanowiczowa wrote 25 letters to Polish author Józef Wittlin. Both were in exile in North America. The correspondence is part of the Houghton Library holdings at Harvard University, call number MS Slavic 7. A woman has come there to examine the letters, days of pencils, creased paper and faded envelopes, nights at the bar, speaking to someone off-camera, trying to articulate how the work makes her feel. It’s only in the scenes in Canada, at the anniversary celebration for another couple of Polish immigrants, that we even learn who she is, the great-granddaughter of the poet, the literary executor of her estate, a role which causes tensions with her aunt. But other tensions are just as, if not more pervasive, like those between two people separated by history, the content of a letter and its material form, process and psychology. Zofia’s words flash up on screen, as subtitles, as handwriting, as print, in the reading room, on the projector, in the hotel room, and their sentiments seep into the unadorned spaces, merging with silence and organ music alike, the melancholy of what still is and what is no longer, the melancholy of the archive.
by Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell
with Deragh Campbell, Elizabeth Rucker, Marius Sibiga, Aaron Danby
Canada 2019 English 64’ Colour

With

  • Deragh Campbell (Audrey Benac)
  • Elizabeth Rucker (Ania Bohdanowicz)
  • Marius Sibiga (Grzegorz)
  • Aaron Danby (Noah)

Crew

Written and Directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell
Cinematography Sofia Bohdanowicz
Editing Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell
Sound Design Elma Bello
Sound Matthew Chan
Producers Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell, Calvin Thomas Lisa Pictures

Produced by

Sofia Bohdanowicz

Deragh Campbell

Lisa Pictures

Sofia Bohdanowicz

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1985. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Film Production. In 2018, she participated in the Berlinale Talents.

Filmography

2012 Modlitwa (A Prayer); 7 min. 2013 Wieczór (An Evening); 19 min. · Dalsza Modlitwa (Another Prayer); 6 min. 2015 Never Eat Alone; 67 min. 2016 Maison du Bonheur; 62 min. 2018 Veslemøy’s Song; 9 min. · The Soft Space; 4 min. 2019 MS Slavic 7

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Deragh Campbell

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1989. She studied Creative Writing and has been working as an actress as well as a screen writer. MS Slavic 7 is her first feature film as co-director.

Filmography

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019