The ‘Casa do Povo’ cultural centre in São Paulo, an icon of the secular Jewish workers’ movement: a crumbling theatre flanked by staircases, entryways and corridors. Construction noise drones away in the background, clinking crockery, a broom sweeping over tiled floors, an expressive façade of countless adjustable panes of glass covered by a patina. It’s October 2016 and a group of young people are preparing a preview of Bickels [Socialism]. The venue is to form a prologue to the completed film, which tours 22 buildings in Israel designed by Samuel Bickels, most of which for kibbutzim. Dining halls, children’s houses, agricultural buildings, bright structures inserted into the Mediterranean landscape with great ingenuity. An architecture with a sell-by date: That many are now empty or have been repurposed at best is linked to the decline of the socialist ideals they embody.
Paintings by Jewish artist Meir Axelrod from the Crimea in the 1930s form the epilogue. It tells the tragic story of the Vio Nova kibbutz, which first foundered under the British Mandate in Palestine and later fell victim to Stalinism, before being liquidated entirely under the German occupation.
Germany / Israel 2017
Documentary form92 min · Colour
Born in 1948 in Achim, near Bremen. Since 1973, he has worked as a freelance filmmaker, artist, writer, cinematographer, producer, and journalist. From 1993 to 2013, he held a professorship in experimental filmmaking at the Berlin University of the Arts, where he co-founded the Institute for Time-Based Media and the university’s art and media course. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.Filmography (selection)
1973 Schenec-Tady I; 27 min., Berlinale Forum 1975 1974 Arrowplane; 24 min., Berlinale Forum 1974 · Tide; 33 min., Berlinale Forum 1976 1976 Hotel; 27 min., Berlinale Forum 1976 1981 Normalsatz; 105 min., Berlinale Forum 1982 1985 Die Basis des Make-Up; 85 Min. 1987 Die Wiese der Sachen (The Meadow of Things); 87 min., Berlinale Panorama 1988 1999 Maillarts Brücken (Photographie und jenseits – Teil 3) (Maillart's Bridges); 24 min., Berlinale Forum 2001 2003 Goff in der Wüste (Photographie und jenseits – Teil 7) (Goff in the Desert); 110 min., Berlinale Forum 2003 2005 D’Annunzios Höhle (Photographie und jenseits – Teil 8) (D'Annunzio's Cave); 60 min., Berlinale Forum 2005 2008 Loos ornamental (Photographie und jenseits – Teil 13); 72 min., Berlinale Forum 2008 2012 Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi und römischer Beton (Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete ); 100 min., Berlinale Forum 2012 · Perret in Frankreich and Algerien (Perret in France and Algeria); 110 min. 2014 The Airstrip – Aufbruch der Moderne, Teil III (The Airstrip – Decampment of Modernism, Part III); 108 min., Berlinale Forum 2014 2015 Le Corbusier [IIIII] Asger Jorn [Relief]; 29 Min., Berlinale Forum Expanded 2016 2017 2+2=22 [The Alphabet] · Bickels [Socialism] · Streetscapes [Dialogue] · Dieste [Uruguay]