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3th DMZ Docs(2011)

I AM DOCU



The Woman with the Five Elephants

Vadim JENDREYKO

  • Switzerland, Germany
  • 2009
  • 94min
  • HD
  • color/black and white

Synopsis

Swetlana Geier is Germany’s leading translator of Russian literature. At the age of 85, she has finished translating five of Dostoevsky’s novels (known as the Five Elephants). The film at first seems to deal with her daily life as she goes about her housework with a neck bent from years of translating literature, or conducts delicate translation work in collaboration with colleagues. But her son’s sudden accident forces her to stop her translation work and focus on nursing him back to health. The film then shifts to the question of what translating means to Swetlana. The film embarks on a journey to her hometown in Ukraine, which she never again visited after leaving the place as a teenager. There we discover the secret to her literary talent, a legacy of the various turmoil she has been forced to deal with: a restless Soviet Union and Germany, the Second World War, the death of her father and a friend, ideological conflict and survival, and her passion for translation. Her life itself is witness to as well as a struggle against the weight of European history. As the film begins, she makes a statement that testifies to the years she has spent as a literary translator: “I am so indebted to life that I have no time to rest.” (LEE Seung-min)

Review

Director

  • Vadim JENDREYKO

    Vadim Jendreyko was born in 1965 in Germany and grew up in Switzerland. He attended grammar school, the Basel School of Applied Art and the Düsseldorf Art Academy. He released his first film in 1986. In 2002, he and Hercli Bundi founded Mira Film GmbH, where he works as a producer. He is the father of two children and lives in Basel. The Woman with the Five Elephants (2009) Maximum Performance (2004) Transit - Zurich Airport (2003) Bashkim (2002)​ 

Credit

  • ProducerHercli BUNDI, Vadim JENDREYKO, Thomas TIELSCH
  • Cinematography Niels Chr. BOLBRINKER, Stéphane KUTHY
  • Editor Gisela CASTRONARI-JAENSCH
  • Music Daniel ALMADA, Martin IANNACCONE
  • Sound Patrick BECKER

Distributor / World Sales

Distribution / World Sales  Mira Film

Address  Weststrasse 182 8003 Zürich, Switzerland

Tel  41 43 960 3684

E-mail  info@mirafilm.ch​