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Where To and Back: The Axel Corti Trilogy

June 15, 2008 - June 29, 2008

God Does Not Believe in Us Anymore, June 15

“At once intimate and epic and an impeccable period re-creation, Where To and Back is a masterpiece.”—Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

In Jewish culture there is a saying about the Holocaust, “We must never forget.” But what of those artists who never forgot the Holocaust—who will remember them? Dead since 1993, the great Austrian filmmaker Axel Corti is one such person we should long to remember. His brilliantly nuanced trilogy, Where To and Back, remains a peerless entry in the genre of films addressing the plight of Jews during the Second World War. Created for Austrian television, Corti’s stirring films achieve their complex spell by rendering the lives not of lauded heroes or grandiose figures but of unexceptional people as they struggle against fear, rootlessness, and an uncertain future. Beginning in Vienna on the eve of Kristallnacht in 1938 and culminating in the liberation of the city in 1945, Corti’s far-reaching triptych gives us a torn and weary world where everything is up for grabs: identity is donned like a mask, memory conveniently fails, and morality becomes the shadow of opportunity. Sorrowful yet serene like the strains of Schubert that play throughout, Where To and Back embodies the search for meaning amidst the wreckage of humanity. Join us in revisiting Axel Corti, a director who remembered too much.

Steve Seid
Video Curator

Sunday, June 15, 2008
4:00 p.m. God Does Not Believe in Us Anymore
In 1938 Central Europe, three refugees (including Armin Mueller-Stahl) flee Hitler’s inexorable advance. “With unerring brilliance, Corti finds and exposes small moments of meaning.”—L.A. Herald Examiner

Sunday, June 22, 2008
4:00 p.m. Santa Fe
Jewish émigrés search for home in 1940 New York in “a totally absorbing picture, which examines with complete assurance the hopes, doubts, and memories of immigrants.”—L.A. Reader

Sunday, June 29, 2008
4:00 p.m. Welcome in Vienna
Refugees return to postwar Vienna and find corruption and disillusionment. Writer and director “have re-created a moment in their country’s past with cruel, vivid intimacy.”—Variety