She stopped a yard from her boy and made two or three admiring exclamations over his manly stature and general handsomeness, and Tom put an arm under his head and hoisted a leg over the sofa back in order to look properly indifferent. Look at me good; does you 'member old Roxy? Does you know yo' old nigger mammy, honey? Well now, I kin lay down en die in peace, 'ca'se I'se seed--" "Cut it short, Goddamn it, cut it short! What is it you want? Jes the same old Marse Tom, al'ays so gay and funnin' wid de ole mammy. I'uz jes as shore--" "Cut it short, I tell you, and get along!
What do you want? Roxy had for so many days nourished and fondled and petted her notion that Tom would be glad to see his old nurse, and would make her proud and happy to the marrow with a cordial word or two, that it took two rebuffs to convince her that he was not funning, and that her beautiful dream was a fond and foolish variety, a shabby and pitiful mistake. She was hurt to the heart, and so ashamed that for a moment she did not quite know what to do or how to act.
Then her breast began to heave, the tears came, and in her forlornness she was moved to try that other dream of hers-- an appeal to her boy's charity; and so, upon the impulse, and without reflection, she offered her supplication: "Oh, Marse Tom, de po' ole mammy is in sich hard luck dese days; en she's kinder crippled in de arms and can't work, en if you could gimme a dollah--on'y jes one little dol--" German brim: Rand, Krempe, Grat, Kante, Saum.
Mark Twain 53 Tom was on his feet so suddenly that the supplicant was startled into a jump herself. I've a notion to strangle you! Is that your errand here? Clear out! And be quick about it! When she was halfway she stopped, and said mournfully: "Marse Tom, I nussed you when you was a little baby, en I raised you all by myself tell you was 'most a young man; en now you is young en rich, en I is po' en gitt'n ole, en I come heah b'leavin' dat you would he'p de ole mammy 'long down de little road dat's lef' 'twix' her en de grave, en--" Tom relished this tune less than any that he preceded it, for it began to wake up a sort of echo in his conscience; so he interrupted and said with decision, though without asperity, that he was not in a situation to help her, and wasn't going to do it.
Now go away and don't bother me any more. But now the fires of her old wrongs flamed up in her breast and began to burn fiercely. She raised her head slowly, till it was well up, and at the same time her great frame unconsciously assumed an erect and masterful attitude, with all the majesty and grace of her vanished youth in it. She raised her finger and punctuated with it. You has had yo' chance, en you has trompled it under yo' foot.
When you git another one, you'll git down on yo' knees en beg for it! However, he did the natural thing: he replied with bluster and mockery. Perhaps I'd better get down on my knees now! But in case I don't--just for argument's sake-- what's going to happen, pray? Disturbing thoughts began to chase each other through his head. And yet she must have found out--she looks it.
I've had the will back only three months, and am already deep in debt again, and moving heaven and earth to save myself from exposure and destruction, with a reasonably fair show of getting the thing covered up if I'm let alone, and now this fiend has gone and found me out somehow or other. I wonder how much she knows? Oh, oh, oh, it's enough to break a body's heart! But I've got to humor her--there's no other way.
Here's your dollar--now tell me what you know. It was her turn to scorn persuasive foolery now, and she did not waste it. She said, with a grim implacability in voice and manner which made Tom almost realize that even a former slave can remember for ten minutes insults and injuries returned for compliments and flatteries received, and can also enjoy taking revenge for them when the opportunity offers: "What does I know? I'll tell you what I knows, I knows enough to bu'st dat will to flinders--en more, mind you, more!
Where's there any room for more? What you reckon I's gwine to tell you for? I's gwine to tell yo' uncle--en I'll do it dis minute, too--he'll gimme five dollahs for de news, en mighty glad, too. Mark Twain 55 She swung herself around disdainfully, and started away. Tom was in a panic. He seized her skirts, and implored her to wait.
She turned and said, loftily: "Look-a-heah, what 'uz it I tole you? What was it you told me? He was panting with excitement. Then he said: "Oh, Roxy, you wouldn't require your young master to do such a horrible thing. You can't mean it. You call me names, en as good as spit on me when I comes here, po' en ornery en 'umble, to praise you for bein' growed up so fine and handsome, en tell you how I used to nuss you en tend you en watch you when you 'uz sick en hadn't no mother but me in de whole worl', en beg you to give de po' ole nigger a dollah for to get her som'n' to eat, en you call me names--names, dad blame you!
Yassir, I gives you jes one chance mo', and dat's now, en it las' on'y half a second--you hear? Now tell me, Roxy, tell me.
Then she said: "Fine nice young white gen'l'man kneelin' down to a nigger wench! I's wanted to see dat jes once befo' I's called. Now, Gabr'el, blow de hawn, I's ready. Git up! He said, humbly: German beg: bitten, bittet, bittest, bitte, betteln, bettele, bettelt, bettle, ersuchen, bettelst, ersuche. I deserved what I've got, but be good and let me off with that.
Don't go to uncle. Tell me-- I'll give you the five dollars. But I ain't gwine to tell you heah--" "Good gracious, no! I's a-roostin' in de ha'nted house 'ca'se I can't 'ford to roos' nowher's else. She examined it and said, "H'm--like enough de bank's bu'sted. She tilted it up and took a drink. Her eyes sparkled with satisfaction, and she tucked the bottle under her shawl, saying, "It's prime. I'll take it along. German bet: wette, wetten. It is because we are not the person involved. There was once a man who, not being able to find any other fault with his coal, complained that there were too many prehistoric toads in it.
He rocked himself back and forth and moaned. Well, there is one consolation, such as it is--I've struck bottom this time; there's nothing lower. Roxy was standing in the door of one of the rooms, waiting, for she had heard him. Nobody would live in it afterward, or go near it by night, and most people even gave it a wide berth in the daytime.
As it had no competition, it was called the haunted house. It was getting crazy and ruinous now, from long neglect. It stood three hundred yards beyond Pudd'nhead Wilson's house, with nothing between but vacancy. It was the last house in the town at that end. Tom followed Roxy into the room. She had a pile of clean straw in the corner for a bed, some cheap but well-kept clothing was hanging on the wall, there was a tin lantern freckling the floor with little spots of light, and there were various soap and candle boxes scattered about, which served for chairs.
The two sat down. Roxy said: "Now den, I'll tell you straight off, en I'll begin to k'leck de money later on; I ain't in no hurry. What does you reckon I's gwine to tell you? Come right out and tell me you've found out somehow what a shape I'm in on account of dissipation and foolishness. No sir, dat ain't it. Dat jist ain't nothin' at all, 'longside o' what I knows. You ain't no more kin to ole Marse Driscoll den I is! Logbuch, Log, Klotz, Scheit. Mark Twain 59 "Yassir, en dat ain't all!
You's a nigger! It's just de truth, en nothin' but de truth, so he'p me. Yassir--you's my son--" "You devil! Does you think you kin skyer me? It ain't in you, nor de likes of you. I reckon you'd shoot me in de back, maybe, if you got a chance, for dat's jist yo' style--I knows you, throo en throo--but I don't mind gitt'n killed, beca'se all dis is down in writin' and it's in safe hands, too, en de man dat's got it knows whah to look for de right man when I gits killed.
Oh, bless yo' soul, if you puts yo' mother up for as big a fool as you is, you's pow'ful mistaken, I kin tell you! Now den, you set still en behave yo'self; en don't you git up ag'in till I tell you! She took the lantern and started for the door. Tom was in a cold panic in a moment. Please come back, Roxy! You can't call me Roxy, same as if you was my equal. Chillen don't speak to dey mammies like dat.
You'll call me ma or mammy, dat's what you'll call me--leastways when de ain't nobody aroun'. Say it! Now den, you had said you wouldn't ever call it lies en moonshine ag'in. I'll tell you dis, for a warnin': if you ever does say it ag'in, it's de las' time you'll ever say it to me; I'll tramp as straight to de judge as I kin walk, en tell him who you is, en prove it.
Does you b'lieve me when I says dat? She could have proved nothing to anybody, and her threat of writings was a lie; but she knew the person she was dealing with, and had made both statements without any doubt as to the effect they would produce. She went and sat down on her candle box, and the pride and pomp of her victorious attitude made it a throne. She said: "Now den, Chambers, we's gwine to talk business, en dey ain't gwine to be no mo' foolishness.
In de fust place, you gits fifty dollahs a month; you's gwine to han' over half of it to yo' ma. Plank it out! He gave her that, and promised to start fair on next month's pension. Mark Twain 61 Tom groaned out: "Oh, I don't know; don't ask me such awful questions. Louis; but he doubted if he had sent away enough stuff to realize the required amount, and was afraid to make a further venture in the present excited state of the town. His mother approved of his conduct, and offered to help, but this frightened him.
He tremblingly ventured to say that if she would retire from the town he should feel better and safer, and could hold his head higher--and was going on to make an argument, but she interrupted and surprised him pleasantly by saying she was ready; it didn't make any difference to her where she stayed, so that she got her share of the pension regularly.
She said she would not go far, and would call at the haunted house once a month for her money. Then she said: "I don't hate you so much now, but I've hated you a many a year-- and anybody would. Didn't I change you off, en give you a good fambly en a good name, en made you a white gen'l'man en rich, wid store clothes on--en what did I git for it? You despised me all de time, en was al'ays sayin' mean hard things to me befo' folks, en wouldn't ever let me forgit I's a nigger--en--en--" She fell to sobbing, and broke down.
Tom said: "But you know I didn't know you were my mother; and besides--" "Well, nemmine 'bout dat, now; let it go. I's gwine to fo'git it. He was mistaken. No, dat I don't! You ain't got no 'casion to be shame' o' yo' father, I kin tell you. He wuz de highest quality in dis whole town--ole Virginny stock.
Fust famblies, he wuz. Jes as good stock as de Driscolls en de Howards, de bes' day dey ever seed. Dat's de man. Now den, go 'long! En jes you hold yo' head up as high as you want to-- you has de right, en dat I kin swah. I am a nigger! Oh, I wish I was dead! He began to think. Sufficiently bitter thinkings they were. They wandered along something after this fashion: Why were niggers and whites made? What crime did the uncreated first nigger commit that the curse of birth was decreed for him?
How hard the nigger's fate seems, this morning! Then "Chambers" came humbly in to say that breakfast was nearly ready. The tremendous catastrophe which had befallen Tom had changed his moral landscape in much the same way. Some of his low places he found lifted to ideals, some of his ideas had sunk to the valleys, and lay there with the sackcloth and ashes of pumice stone and sulphur on their ruined heads.
For days he wandered in lonely places, thinking, thinking, thinking-- trying to get his bearings. It was new work. If he met a friend, he found that the habit of a lifetime had in some mysterious way vanished-- his arm hung limp, instead of involuntarily extending the hand for a shake. It was the "nigger" in him asserting its humility, and he blushed and was abashed. And the "nigger" in him was surprised when the white friend put out his hand for a shake with him.
He found the "nigger" in him involuntarily giving the road, on the sidewalk, to a white rowdy and loafer.
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When Rowena, the dearest thing his heart knew, the idol of his secret worship, invited him in, the "nigger" in him made an embarrassed excuse and was afraid to enter and sit with the dread white folks on equal terms. The "nigger" in him went shrinking and skulking here and there and yonder, and fancying it saw suspicion and maybe detection in all faces, tones, and gestures.
Mark Twain 65 it, and turned to look after him when he passed on; and when he glanced back-as he could not help doing, in spite of his best resistance--and caught that puzzled expression in a person's face, it gave him a sick feeling, and he took himself out of view as quickly as he could. He presently came to have a hunted sense and a hunted look, and then he fled away to the hilltops and the solitudes.
He said to himself that the curse of Ham was upon him. You look as meek as a nigger," he felt as secret murderers are said to feel when the accuser says, "Thou art the man! His ostensible "aunt's" solicitudes and endearments were become a terror to him, and he avoided them. And all the time, hatred of his ostensible "uncle" was steadily growing in his heart; for he said to himself, "He is white; and I am his chattel, his property, his goods, and he can sell me, just as he could his dog.
But that was because he did not know himself. In several ways his opinions were totally changed, and would never go back to what they were before, but the main structure of his character was not changed, and could not be changed. One or two very important features of it were altered, and in time effects would result from this, if opportunity offered-effects of a quite serious nature, too. Under the influence of a great mental and moral upheaval, his character and his habits had taken on the appearance of complete change, but after a while with the subsidence of the storm, both began to settle toward their former places.
He dropped gradually back into his old frivolous and easygoing ways and conditions of feeling and manner of speech, and no familiar of his could have detected anything in him that differentiated him from the weak and careless Tom of other days. It produced the sum necessary to pay his gaming debts, and saved him from exposure to his uncle and another smashing of the will.
He and his mother learned to like each other fairly well. She couldn't love him, as yet, because there "warn't nothing to him," as she expressed it, but her nature needed something or somebody to rule over, and he was better than nothing. Her strong character and aggressive and commanding ways compelled Tom's admiration in spite of the fact that he got more illustrations of them than he needed for his comfort. However, as a rule her conversation was made up of racy tale about the privacies of the chief families of the town for she went harvesting among their kitchens every time she came to the village , and Tom enjoyed this.
It was just in his line. She always collected her half of his pension punctually, and he was always at the haunted house to have a chat with her on these occasions. Every now and then, she paid him a visit there on between-days also. Louis for a few weeks, and at last temptation caught him again. He won a lot of money, but lost it, and with it a deal more besides, which he promised to raise as soon as possible. For this purpose he projected a new raid on his town. He never meddled with any other town, for he was afraid to venture into houses whose ins and outs he did not know and the habits of whose households he was not acquainted with.
He arrived at the haunted house in disguise on the Wednesday before the advent of the twins--after writing his Aunt Pratt that he would not arrive until two days after--and laying in hiding there with his mother until toward daylight Friday morning, when he went to his uncle's house and entered by the back way with his own key, and slipped up to his room where he could have the use of the mirror and toilet articles. He had a suit of girl's clothes with him in a bundle as a disguise for his raid, and was wearing a suit of his mother's clothing, with black gloves and veil.
By dawn he was tricked out for his raid, but he caught a glimpse of Pudd'nhead Wilson through the window over the way, and knew that Pudd'nhead had caught a glimpse of him. So he entertained Wilson with some airs and graces and attitudes for a while, then stepped out of sight and resumed German acquainted: bekannt, mitgeteilt, teilte mit, teilten mit, teiltest mit, teiltet mit. Mark Twain 67 the other disguise, and by and by went down and out the back way and started downtown to reconnoiter the scene of his intended labors.
He had changed back to Roxy's dress, with the stoop of age added to he disguise, so that Wilson would not bother himself about a humble old women leaving a neighbor's house by the back way in the early morning, in case he was still spying. But supposing Wilson had seen him leave, and had thought it suspicious, and had also followed him?
The thought made Tom cold. He gave up the raid for the day, and hurried back to the haunted house by the obscurest route he knew. His mother was gone; but she came back, by and by, with the news of the grand reception at Patsy Cooper's, and soon persuaded him that the opportunity was like a special Providence, it was so inviting and perfect. So he went raiding, after all, and made a nice success of it while everybody was gone to Patsy Cooper's.
Success gave him nerve and even actual intrepidity; insomuch, indeed, that after he had conveyed his harvest to his mother in a back alley, he went to the reception himself, and added several of the valuables of that house to his takings. After this long digression we have now arrived once more at the point where Pudd'nhead Wilson, while waiting for the arrival of the twins on that same Friday evening, sat puzzling over the strange apparition of that morning--a girl in young Tom Driscoll's bedroom; fretting, and guessing, and puzzling over it, and wondering who the shameless creature might be.
German apparition: Erscheinung, Geistererscheinung. It flowed along chattily and sociably, and under its influence the new friendship gathered ease and strength. Wilson got out his Calendar, by request, and read a passage or two from it, which the twins praised quite cordially. This pleased the author so much that he complied gladly when the asked him to lend them a batch of the work to read at German admiration: Bewunderung. Mark Twain 69 home. In the course of their wide travels, they had found out that there are three sure ways of pleasing an author; they were now working the best of the three.
Young Driscoll appeared, and joined the party. He pretended to be seeing the distinguished strangers for the first time when they rose to shake hands; but this was only a blind, as he had already had a glimpse of them, at the reception, while robbing the house.
The twins made mental note that he was smooth-faced and rather handsome, and smooth and undulatory in his movements--graceful, in fact. Angelo thought he had a good eye; Luigi thought there was something veiled and sly about it. Angelo thought he had a pleasant free-and-easy way of talking; Luigi thought it was more so than was agreeable. Angelo thought he was a sufficiently nice young man; Luigi reserved his decision.
Tom's first contribution to the conversation was a question which he had put to Wilson a hundred times before. It was always cheerily and good-natured put, and always inflicted a little pang, for it touched a secret sore; but this time the pang was sharp, since strangers were present. Had a case yet? Judge Driscoll had generously left the law feature out of Wilson's biography which he had furnished to the twins. Young Tom laughed pleasantly, and said: "Wilson's a lawyer, gentlemen, but he doesn't practice now.
It is true that I have never had a case, and have had to earn a poor living for twenty years as an expert accountant in a town where I can't get a hold of a set of books to untangle as often as I should like. But it is also true that I did myself well for the practice of the law. By the time I was your age, Tom, I had chosen a profession, and was soon competent to enter upon it.
I like to see it. I've a notion to throw all my business your way. My business and your law practice ought to make a pretty gay team, Dave," and the young fellow laughed again. How's the Awful Mystery flourishing these days? Wilson's got a scheme for driving plain window glass panes out of the market by decorating it with greasy finger marks, and getting rich by selling it at famine prices to the crowned heads over in Europe to outfit their palaces with.
Fetch it out, Dave. A fine an delicate print of the lines in the skin results, and is permanent, if it doesn't come in contact with something able to rub it off. You begin, Tom. Of course, I've changed entirely since then, and variety is what the crowned heads want, I guess.
Angelo made a print of his fingers on another glass, and Luigi followed with a third. Wilson marked the glasses with names and dates, and put them away. Mark Twain 71 "I thought I wouldn't say anything, but if variety is what you are after, you have wasted a piece of glass. The hand print of one twin is the same as the hand print of the fellow twin. Dave's just an all-round genius-- a genius of the first water, gentlemen; a great scientist running to seed here in this village, a prophet with the kind of honor that prophets generally get at home--for here they don't give shucks for his scientifics, and they call his skull a notion factory--hey, Dave, ain't it so?
But never mind, he'll make his mark someday--finger mark, you know, he-he! But really, you want to let him take a shy at your palms once; it's worth twice the price of admission or your money's returned at the door. Why, he'll read your wrinkles as easy as a book, and not only tell you fifty or sixty things that's going to happen to you, but fifty or sixty thousand that ain't.
Come, Dave, show the gentlemen what an inspired jack-at-all-science we've got in this town, and don't know it. They rightly judged, now, that the best way was to relieve him would be to take the thing in earnest and treat it with respect, ignoring Tom's rather overdone raillery; so Luigi said: "We have seen something of palmistry in our wanderings, and know very well what astonishing things it can do. If it isn't a science, and one of the greatest of them too, I don't know what its other name ought to be.
In the Orient--" Tom looked surprised and incredulous. He said: "That juggling a science? But really, you ain't serious, are you? Four years ago we had our hands read out to us as if our plans had been covered with print. German all-round: allroud, vielseitig. Next, two or three memorable things that have happened to us were laid bare--things which no one present but ourselves could have known about.
Some of the minor prophesies have come true; some of the minor and some of the major ones have not been fulfilled yet, and of course may never be: still, I should be more surprised if they failed to arrive than if they didn't. He said, "Dave, I wasn't meaning to belittle that science; I was only chaffing-chattering, I reckon I'd better say. I wish you would look at their palms.
Come, won't you? When a past event is somewhat prominently recorded in the palm, I can generally detect that, but minor ones often escape me--not always, of course, but often-- but I haven't much confidence in myself when it comes to reading the future. I am talking as if palmistry was a daily study with me, but that is not so. I haven't examined half a dozen hands in the last half dozen years; you see, the people got to joking about it, and I stopped to let the talk die down.
I'll tell you what we'll do, Count Luigi: I'll make a try at your past, and if I have any success there--no, on the whole, I'll let the future alone; that's really the affair of an expert. Tom said: German apologetically: entschuldigend, apologetisches, sich rechtfertigend, bedauernd, apologetisch. Count Luigi, here's paper and pencil. Set down that thing that you said was the most striking one that was foretold to you, and happened less than a year afterward, and give it to me so I can see if Dave finds it in your hand. All this process was watched by the three spectators with absorbing interest, their heads bent together over Luigi's palm, and nobody disturbing the stillness with a word.
Wilson now entered upon a close survey of the palm again, and his revelations began. He mapped out Luigi's character and disposition, his tastes, aversions, proclivities, ambitions, and eccentricities in a way which sometimes made Luigi wince and the others laugh, but both twins declared that the chart was artistically drawn and was correct. Next, Wilson took up Luigi' history. He proceeded cautiously and with hesitation now, moving his finger slowly along the great lines of the palm, and now and then halting it at a "star" or some such landmark, and examining that neighborhood minutely.
He proclaimed one or two past events, Luigi confirmed his correctness, and the search went on. Presently Wilson glanced up suddenly with a surprised expression. Then he said: "I think it is too delicate a matter to--to--I believe I would rather write it or whisper it to you, and let you decide for yourself whether you want it talked out or not. It came true before the year was out. Why, a man's own hand is his deadliest enemy! Just think of that--a man's own hand keeps a record of the deepest and fatalest secrets of his life, and is treacherously ready to expose himself to any black-magic stranger that comes along.
But what do you let a person look at your hand for, with that awful thing printed on it? I killed the man for good reasons, and I don't regret it. Mark Twain 75 "I'll tell you why he did it, since he won't say himself," said Angelo, warmly. So it was a noble act, and not a thing to be hid in the dark. You overlook one detail; suppose I hadn't saved Angelo's life, what would have become of mine? If I had let the man kill him, wouldn't he have killed me, too? I saved my own life, you see. I keep that weapon yet that Luigi killed the man with, and I'll show it to you sometime. That incident makes it interesting, and it had a history before it came into Luigi's hands which adds to its interest.
It was given to Luigi by a great Indian prince, the Gaikowar of Baroda, and it had been in his family two or three centuries. It killed a good many disagreeable people who troubled the hearthstone at one time or another. It isn't much too look at, except it isn't shaped like other knives, or dirks, or whatever it may be called--here, I'll draw it for you.
The devices engraved on it are the ciphers or names of its long line of possessors--I had Luigi's name added in Roman letters myself with our coat of arms, as you see. You notice what a curious handle the thing has. It is solid ivory, polished like a mirror, and is four or five inches long--round, and as thick as a large man's wrist, with the end squared off flat, for your thumb to rest on; for you grasp it, with your thumb resting on the blunt end-- so--and lift it along and strike downward.
The Gaikowar showed us how the thing was done when he gave it to Luigi, and before that night was ended, Luigi had used the knife, and the Gaikowar was a man short by reason of it. The sheath is magnificently ornamented with gems of great value. You will find a sheath more worth looking at than the knife itself, of course. I would have sold that knife for a song; I supposed the jewels were glass. Tell us about that. A native servant slipped into our room in the palace in the night, to kill us and steal the knife on account of the fortune encrusted on its sheath, without a doubt.
Luigi had it under his pillow; we were in bed together. There was a dim night-light burning. I was asleep, but Luigi was awake, and he thought he detected a vague form nearing the bed.
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He slipped the knife out of the sheath and was ready and unembarrassed by hampering bedclothes, for the weather was hot and we hadn't any. Suddenly that native rose at the bedside, and bent over me with his right hand lifted and a dirk in it aimed at my throat; but Luigi grabbed his wrist, pulled him downward, and drove his own knife into the man's neck. That is the whole story. Tom darted an ugly look at him, and said sharply: "Well, if I am, it ain't because I'm a murderer! I didn't mean that; it was out before I thought, and I'm very, very sorry--you must forgive me!
Mark Twain 77 felt sorrier for the affront put upon him by his guest's outburst of ill manners than for the insult offered to Luigi. But the success was not so pronounced with the offender. Tom tried to seem at his ease, and he went through the motions fairly well, but at bottom he felt resentful toward all the three witnesses of his exhibition; in fact, he felt so annoyed at them for having witnessed it and noticed it that he almost forgot to feel annoyed at himself for placing it before them. However, something presently happened which made him almost comfortable, and brought him nearly back to a state of charity and friendliness.
This was a little spat between the twins; not much of a spat, but still a spat; and before they got far with it, they were in a decided condition of irritation while pretending to be actuated by more respectable motives. By his help the fire got warmed up to the blazing point, and he might have had the happiness of seeing the flames show up in another moment, but for the interruption of a knock on the door--an interruption which fretted him as much as it gratified Wilson. Wilson opened the door. One of the town's chief excitements, just now, was over the matter of rum.
There was a strong rum party and a strong anti-rum party. Buckstone was training with the rum party, and he had been sent to hunt up the twins and invite them to attend a mass meeting of that faction. He delivered his errand, and said the clans were already gathering in the big hall over the market house.
Luigi accepted the invitation cordially. Angelo less cordially, since he disliked crowds, and did not drink the powerful intoxicants of America. In fact, he was even a teetotaler sometimes-- when it was judicious to be one. The twins left with Buckstone, and Tom Driscoll joined the company with them uninvited. In the distance, one could see a long wavering line of torches drifting down the main street, and could hear the throbbing of the bass drum, the clash of cymbals, the squeaking of a fife or two, and the faint roar of remote hurrahs.
German actuated: angetrieben, triebt an, triebst an, trieben an, trieb an, in Gang gebracht. Others have the films delivered to their homes on pirated DVDs in packs of ten. They are dubbed or subtitled, as well as censored, in illegal studios. An elderly man demands that the people who watch satellite television be punished and sent into exile.
How many houses in Iran would still be inhabited then? Oder zumindest versuchen sie, immer unterwegs, den Jack Pot zu knacken. Zu schade eigentlich. The two are in what has been the most sustained cultural achievement Eastern Europe adopted from the West: buizinesss. Or at least they are trying, always about to hit the jackpot. As we all know, one is more likely to be struck by lightning — and so their winnings are meagre or sometimes nonexistent. The profit from an adventurous plan in the course of which Lali pawns his car and takes a puppy to Cairo which they then sell to a German shepherd fancier vanishes into the thin air of a night club.
A shame, really. Zemplenyi war zum Beispiel Manager der ungarischen Schwimmer-Nationalmannschaft, welche er um 10 Millionen Dollar Sponsorengelder betrogen hat. At private occasions, he shone with insider knowledge about the future of the art market, passing on this knowledge generously but always under wraps. Soon many people wanted to belong to the inner circle around this urbane and pious man.
So the clergyman was finally entrusted with a lot of money for certain art transactions, and only on 9 July , when 15 people who had never met before found themselves at the door of their good friend and investment advisor to collect their returns did they realize that they had been duped by a clever fraudster. The fake Vatican employee had vanished with several million kronas of their savings. No one knows for certain where this artful conman, known to Interpol as Z, is operating right now. Ein kleiner Junge steht am Meer und spielt Dirigent. Alles ist gezeichnet, im Off die Stimme von Chuck Jones — Coyote, sowie vor allem Duffy Duck und Bugs Bunny.
A little boy is playing orchestra conductor by the sea. At his signal, seabirds soar up, the surf withdraws and surges back in a single wave. This animated documentary is based on one of the last interviews with Jones, in which he talked about his childhood in Los Angeles during the s — the source of his creativity and inspiration: there was the hole in the fence of the Chaplin Studios which were only two blocks from his home. His mother turned potatoes into sailing ships so the Spanish Armada could set sail. Coyote and above all Duffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.
The drawings created during the interview become animated and illustrate his memories, mixed with old photos and film sequences. Digibeta, Farbe, 26 min. Filmauswahl: Stubborn Hope , Stephanie Vater und Mutter sind inzwischen gestorben. Bei ihm hatte Renate wohl gefunden, was sie suchte — auch sie brauchte diese Freiheit.
Doch dann begann das Streiten. Heute finden wir die Freunde von damals einsam in ihrer jeweiligen kleinen Freiheit. Der eine hat sich angepasst, der andere besteht konsequent auf seinen Idealen. Und eine wundersame Liebesgeschichte. She stays in India, marries him, has children with him and finally returns to Germany.
Their adult son, commuting between India and Germany, traces this unusual relationship. His father and mother are dead, but their companions provide more than an outside view of marriage. Many who had looked for enlightenment gathered around Baba and completely accepted Renate who they called Parvati, the wife of divine Shiva according to the legend.
But then they started arguing. Today we find their former friends lonely in their respective little freedoms. One has conformed to the outside world, the other insists on his ideals. A bridge between hippie dreams, spirituality and resignation emerges, as does a beautiful love story. Krishna Saraswati wurde im indischen Teil des Himalaya geboren und verbrachte dort die ersten Jahre seiner Kindheit. Filmauswahl: Left My Baby Schon die Kleinsten stehen daneben und fideln mit einem Ast auf ihrem Arm.
Niemand sieht ihnen an, was sie schon hinter sich haben, wie ihnen der Alltag zusetzt. Various Gipsy musicians flock to a funeral in the formerly Hungarian and now Romanian county of Transylvania in order to pay their last respects to their great master. Gathered around the grave, they play their merry yet melancholic music. Even the tiniest children are standing there, with a piece of wood for a bow and their arm for a fiddle. When they play, their faces are happy and awake; they radiate power and joy of life.
No one sees what they have lived through, how their daily life wears them down. Women, alcohol, and poverty — everyone has their story and none of them feature wealth and fame. They talk openly about their lives, of the blows of fate that marked them and the alcohol which killed many of them. Er ist Mitglied der European Fim Academy. A cylinder with cut-outs, rotating around a light bulb and, by means of stroboscopic effects, stimulating certain areas of the brain of a person sitting in front of it with eyes closed.
For its inventor Brion Gysin it was a chance to change human perception forever, for the Beat Generation it was a chance to spiritually expand their consciousness or simply get high without drugs. The filmmaker Nik Sheehan built such a machine and took it to see former companions of Gysin, like Kenneth Anger or Marianne Faithful, as well as writers, scientists and art experts.
He paints the portrait of a dazzling but tragic artistic personality who kept experimenting with identities and in the process invented things that made others famous. With a wealth of archive material, he creates a living picture of the New York Village culture and its protagonists. Filmauswahl: Symposium. Wie werden Stereotype konstruiert? Und inwiefern kommt der Kunst und den Schauspielern Verantwortung zu? Intelligent, mutig und informativ — ein Film also mit Seltenheitswert. Arbo Tammiksaar explores the phenomenon of the concept of the enemy in a macabre, spooky setting into which he ingeniously inserts interviews and film clips.
It was something they did with mixed feelings but readily, since they regarded the Germans as such as cultured people — not to mention money and celebrity. An aesthetic practice with disastrous political consequences: Until today, Baltic people tend to be represented as sympathising with fascism — and the Greater Russian media are particularly prone to do this.
How are stereotypes constructed? What does it mean to be the personification of the enemy? And what is the responsibility of art and the actors in this? Is there a difference between executing a stage direction and a command? Intelligent, courageous, informative — which makes this a film a rare commodity. Fuera de liga Dreaming in Blue Am Januar um On 12 January at 8. Because this film about Cuban baseball also featured players who had left Cuba to try their luck in the Major League. You can change your wife or your political views, we hear once, but you never change your team. Protest in Cuba is rarely straightforward, but it works — sooner or later.
HansDieter Grabe hatte dies fest vor. Denn ihm lag die elementare Erfahrung des Regisseurs und vieler seiner wichtigsten Protagonisten zugrunde, dass es Sicherheit nur geben kann, wenn man zu essen hat. Can a documentary filmmaker really retire to live the life of a pensioner? In , on the occasion of his 70th birthday, DOK Leipzig dedicated a tribute programme to the grand old man of German documentary filmmaking which included selected works from the oeuvre of this gentle observer of human lives. Hans-Dieter Grabe opened his archive for this film, interweaving scenes from former films with an autobiographical sketch.
The result is a deeply moving reflection on basic human needs and a tribute to his protagonists. Grabe condensed the narrative into a collective century of experience of war, Holocaust and destruction and still leaves us with the realization that humankind has the strength to survive and to preserve its dignity. Alfred Jahn Doch als Erstgeborener einer schweizerisch-nigerianischen Ehe den in Nigeria verstorbenen Vater zu beerdigen, ist eine ganz andere Geschichte.
Es warten auch die vielen Verwandten, die in erster Linie kein Geld haben. Oder war es eine Ziege? Was sind da schon Euro Schulden? Whichever way you look at it, bereavement is first and foremost a lot of stress: with the bereaved ones, the insurance, the undertaker — anything. But being the first-born son of a Swiss-Nigerian marriage and burying your father who died in Nigeria is a different story.
So he finds himself suddenly whisked from his Californian dream and deposited in the Nigerian town of Enugu, where the weather is unbearably hot, drinking water must be boiled and his father has been waiting for his last journey in a badly air-conditioned morgue for the last three months. His numerous relatives whose prime characteristic is lack of money have also been waiting.
From now on, events are dominated by persistent attacks on his purse, superstitions, traditional rites and arbitrariness. Or was it a goat? Anyway, at the end of the day the body is buried, the clans are satisfied and Jarreth has gained a family. Zur Zeit lebt Kevin Merz in Lugano.
Aufgrund seines antisemitischen Inhalts ist der Film heute nur noch mit Kommentar und unter Auflagen zu sehen. Als einziger Regisseur wurde Harlan nach dem II. Weltkrieg wegen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit angeklagt und — freigesprochen. Mehr als Millionen Menschen in ganz Europa sahen seine Filme. Because of its anti-Semitic content, the film may be shown only with a commentary and under certain conditions today. Harlan was the only filmmaker who was tried for crimes against humanity after WWII — and acquitted. Still, the most famous filmmaker of the Third Reich continued to make films, apparently unperturbed, well after the end of the war, until he died on Capri in More than million people across Europe saw his films.
This documentary approaches Veit Harlan and his work through numerous film excerpts and interviews with his children and grandchildren. They talk about their father or grandfather, reflect on his heydays as a filmmaker and his influence on their own lives. The different viewpoints of the second and third generation give the spectator a fresh perspective on a personal approach to history and distinguish this film from established historic documentary formats.
Zugleich geschieht auch immer wieder ein unfassbares Wunder, dass sich unserer Ratio entzieht. In diesem Spannungsfeld bewegt sich Constantin Wulff mit seinem bewegenden Dokumentarfilm, in dem er den Alltag einer Geburtsstation in Wien beobachtet. Childbirth is hard work — for the mother, the baby and all helpers. At the same time, it is an intangible miracle that reason cannot grasp.
What he is interested in is the system, the parallels of dramatic births and the banal procedures of a hospital that must do one thing first and foremost — function. Using a Direct Cinema approach in the tradition of the great American documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, he draws a precise and detailed portrait of an institution and yet produces an emotional roller coaster ride that is hard to evade. Filmauswahl: Spaziergang nach Syrakus , Heldenplatz, Februar Mariam, eine von ihnen, ist Hochzeitsfotografin. Sie leiden darunter, aber machen der ersten Frau auch das Leben schwer.
Ein System, unter dem alle leiden, aber aus dem niemand ausbricht. Approximately forty percent of the Bedouin women in the Negev desert in Israel live in polygamous marriages. The film takes the examples of three women to give us an insight into this closed society. Miriam, one of them, is a wedding photographer. She lives in constant fear that her husband might start to look for a second wife. The other two women had no choice: Since one of them is divorced, the other, at the age of 29, too old, they had to marry men who were already married.
They suffer, but they also make life hard for the first wives. The women portrayed in this film are confident and well-educated and do not approve of the system. But social constraints are so strong that they support it by cooperating. Everyone suffers under the system, but no one breaks free. Und was ist mit der lustigen Plastikfigur, die da aus der CornflakesSchachtel purzelt? Gar nicht zu reden von der geplanten Reise. Not to mention the planned trip. Finnland 35 mm, Farbe, 90 min. Dort aber ist man unbeeindruckt und wird es bleiben bis zuletzt.
The end of a lottery stall that has to make way for an underground line and the dawn of a new era: The construction crane looms majestically, acting like a threatening Goliath. When its arm swivels, rattling its chain, this menacing gesture is directed against little David, the lottery stall at the edge of the building pit.
The people there are unimpressed, though, and will remain so to the end. The friendly couple who owns the stall always have an open ear for their customers, even when the latter tell their stories for the umpteenth time — for example the story of the lost coupon with which the elderly gentleman would have hit the jackpot once again, or the story of the most reliable kidney-stone cure of all, which is to drink only beer and eat nothing for three months. Melancholic warmth spreads in the viewer who gets to share the decelerated existence of these people for a few months.
When this corrugated iron stall will be gone, the city may not have lost any valuable architectural substance, but a piece of everyday culture will have vanished. Soon, hurried passers-by will be served coffee-togo. But: no one will feel invited to linger a little.
Morawskiego 5 p. Filmauswahl: The Teethmen , The Crew Wie begegnet man dem Tod? Wie lebt man weiter? Und was ist letztendlich wirklich wichtig? Sie kann heilen oder helfen, das Unausweichliche anzunehmen. Shock, profound fear — everything will be different. How do you face up to death?
How do you continue to live? And what is really important in the end? Filmmaker Razvan Georgescu was given three years at most by his doctors — a gift of life and at the same time a countdown. The filmmaker set out to visit important artists for whom their own near death is omnipresent. At the end of his journey we know: art can resist death.
It can heal or help accept the inevitable.
The artist lives on in his work. He leaves traces — like Razvan Georgescu who creates a hymn to life in the face of death, miraculously giving us comfort, strength and hope. Filmauswahl: Das H. As a young film student in , Kasim Abid left an Iraq ruled by the secret police and state terrorism. He returned just after the fall of Bagdad as a film director, which was the starting point of this moving film about his family, who survived the dictatorship, the war and the sanctions, welcoming the fall of Saddam Hussein with hope because no one knew what the future had in store for them.
Mit der Mutter eines Mordopfers und mit Neonazis. His personal, painful journey on the trail of anti-Semitism took him across Europe and America and from hidden prejudice to blatant racial hatred. The media that readily report pro or con, fuelling new hatred. He talks to Jews who deny their identity, and to non-Jews who wear a yarmulke and learn Hebrew; to the mother of a murder victim and to neo-Nazis. He goes as far as a walk through the Berlin Holocaust Memorial with Mahler, who dribbles brown propaganda.
His concept is the deliberate staging of confrontations: he contrasts abstract attitudes with the concrete presence of his person and history. He acts in a macabre play whose reins are sometimes seized by his opponents. His questions and comments on the events and his own Jewish identity are pleasantly self-mocking. And he leaves us with the question where anti-Semitism begins with us. Philippe Petit ist ein Besessener. Philippe Petit is an obsessed man.
After having conquered the towers of Notre Dame in Paris, he follows only one goal James Marsh cleverly interweaves spectacular archive material and intelligently re-enacted scenes, building a stage for the tightrope walker from which he can tell his breathtaking story of courage, adventure and love.
James Marsh returns them to us in all their grandeur. Filmauswahl: The Animator of Prague , Troubleman. Buthina Canaan Khoury aber fragt nach. Die tragische Geschichte eines Mannes, der beschuldigt wird, die Ehre einer Frau verletzt zu haben, nimmt kafkaeske Dimensionen an. Auch, weil er uns westlichen Betrachtern zeigt, wie pauschal unser Urteil ist und wie wenig wir wissen.
Maria, who was killed in the name of honour, is never mentioned in the Christian community of Ramallah. Buthina Canaan Khoury, however, asks questions. In contrast to the established view of Western media who basically regard the phenomenon of honour killings as an intrinsic part of Islam, she investigates it in all its cultural and political complexity.
It demonstrates with terrifying clarity, though, how powerless the Palestinian police and judiciary are against this tribal tradition dating back thousands of years, how they covertly respect it and what a devastating part the Israeli occupation forces play in this. A tribal judge explains how many camels or dinars compensate for a rape and why honour killings are no crime and must not be punished. Muslim and Christian women make similar statements, which Khoury contrasts with a young female rapper who risks her life by publicly speaking out against honour killings.
It takes a lot of courage to make such a film, not least because it shows us Western audiences how superficial our judgement is and how little we know. Expeditions take us into the big wide world out there, educational journeys into our inexhaustible interior. Great travel writers like Bruce Chatwin, Cees Noteboom or Heinrich Heine found the most perfect expression of their art when they managed to effortlessly combine the two specific types of journeys. Swiss writer Nicolas Bouvier is also one of their species. He later travelled on to Sri Lanka from where he returned to Geneva.
Inspired and drawn in by a nomadic family, his journey ultimately lasted two years instead of the planned six months. Seit dem Studienabschluss ist er als Filmemacher und Journalist in verschiedenen Regionen der Welt unterwegs. Aber es ist wahr. Die sie in die Luft schleudern, wenn ihnen ein Tor gelingt. Die sie rhythmisch aneinander schlagen, um sich auf den Gegner einzustimmen.
The field players have only one leg, but two arms. They need them for the crutches on which they run like mad across the pitch, dribbling, passing and throwing themselves into tackles. They throw them up in the air when they score a goal, bang them together in order to prepare for an opponent. The depressing fate of crippled outcasts awaited them in the camps. But they shared a common passion, which opened their way back into society — soccer. And so they founded a team, trained like hell and organised matches against other victims of the war in order to spread their message: No more war!
Sergi Agusti, in Barcelona geboren, arbeitet seit mehreren Jahren als Fotograf und seit auch als Dokumentarfilmer und Produzent. Eigentlich sind das hier zwei Filme in einem, sie wechseln sich ab und kommunizieren miteinander, werfen sich ironische Blicke zu, wenn sie sich begegnen, und gehen dann wieder ihrer Wege. Ehrlich gesagt: So anders geht es in der Tierwelt auch nicht zu.
Jedenfalls zeigt das der Film mit einem Augenzwinkern. This is really two films in one, alternating and communicating with each other, giving each other ironic glances when they meet before they each go their own way again. Frankly speaking, things are not that different in the animal world. Paraguay fue noticia Paraguay in the Headlines 1. Die Bilanz: Tote, 9 Vermisste und Verwundete. Es folgen jahrelange Gerichtsverhandlungen auf der Suche nach den Schuldigen. Ebenso wie die Antwort auf die Frage, ob es sich um Mord aus Profitgier handelte. It is the biggest disaster in recent history.
The outcome: killed, 9 missing, and injured.
Gewasch und Gewimmel (German, Paperback)
Survivors talk of their desperation looking for exits in the burning building. Some find a way out, but the doors are barred, presumably to prevent looting. As a result, many are unable to escape the fire. The owner of the department store chain, and his son, the manager of this supermarket, are arrested. Years in court follow to determine who is responsible for the incident. The film looks at the winners and losers of the trials on different levels, while the boundaries between the parts of victim and criminal occasionally blur. As well as the question whether it was murder for reasons of greed is not really answered.
Keine leichte Aufgabe mit dem alles kontrollierenden Harold im Haus. Aber die alte, geheime Liebesgeschichte beginnt erneut. Family pictures, animated scenes, interviews and old home movies are combined to tell a dense and entertaining story in which the gentrified suburban facade of this American-Jewish middle-class marriage is peeled off layer by layer. She also talks about the love of her life and how she gave him up after five years of leading a double life in her still fresh marriage.
The two daughters then arrange a reunion between their mother and her former lover: not an easy task with control freak Harold in the house. But the old secret love story is revived. A drama full of exciting twists, acted out by contradictory characters. Seit Mitte der er Jahre lehrt sie unter anderem an Institutionen in Boston und New York und ist mit ihren Arbeiten erfolgreich auf renommierten Festivals vertreten.
Anstelle des Gewehrs sind sie mit Stift und Notizbuch oder mit der Kamera bewaffnet. Und alle eint der Blick gen Himmel. Ist es eine B. Warm hats, long coats, collars turned up. The wine served in plastic glasses from the trunk of the car, the tea from a thermos, accompanied by homemade sandwiches and crackers. They are armed with pencils and notebooks or a camera instead of guns. And they all are united by their upturned eyes. Is this B.
Neben eigenen Filmprojekten dreht er seither vor allem Werbefilme. Danach arbeitete er als Kameramann. Wenn Krieg zum Normalzustand geworden ist, kann Frieden nur ein Traum sein. Gini Retickers Film wird von kraftvollem Enthusiasmus angetrieben.
When war becomes normality, peace can only be a dream. In Liberia, the West African country that has been suffering continuous violent civil wars since , even this dream seems to have become an impossibility. Charles Taylor, the Christian president from to , who kept an army of 20, child soldiers and was a notorious blood diamonds and arms dealer, is facing trial before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague now.
The self-styled preacher said about himself that he was able to pray the devil out of hell. Their goal was not to set up another frontline, but to soften existing frontlines and to assert by pacifist means vital needs against economical, ethnic and religious interests. The women presented in the film also played an important role in the elections when Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected the first female president of an African state.
HD, Farbe, 72 min. Wenn man sie wegnimmt, bleiben Bilder. Menschen, die tanzen, singen, ins Theater gehen oder zur Schule kommen. All we know of Soviet life in the s and 60s is an endless series of patriotic feats of heroism in the service of communism — an impression cleverly created in all the documents of the time by means of pathetic voice-overs and gladiatorial music. If these are taken away, images remain. They may seem familiar to us today, but the act of rededication is spectacular.
Separated from any ideological subtext, everything is turned upside down and becomes what it is: the ordinary everyday lives of ordinary people. At work in the ironworks or on construction sites, harvesting, operating machines or working in the newsroom.
People who dance, sing, go to the theatre or come to school. Who also vote, praise Khrushchev and are warned of bourgeois behaviour. A life of hardship and joy, full of propaganda and faith in the future. In a way, Sergey Loznitsa returns their lives to these people, freed from political instrumentalisation. Was sollen sie besichtigen? Welcome to China! The introduction: A giant excavator pushes carefully but powerfully through a narrow residential alley. Another traditional quarter of Beijing is to be torn down — in the name of progress and for the Olympiad.
What should they visit? High rises? Where are the state and the party who ought to protect the people? They are forced to watch, powerless. This extremely precise and vivid film brings home a well-known phenomenon: how the interests of the capital destroy the life of autonomous communities. Seit lebt Olivier Meys in China. Sdrawstwui, solnyschko! Good Morning, My Sun! Sie kann nicht sehen, aber reden und dichten umso besser. Danach wird gefegt, alles ist sauber und ordentlich. Seit vier Jahren ist sie blind, doch man glaubt es ihr kaum.
She may be blind, but her smock is a riot of cheerful colours. She lives alone, but the animals are well taken care of and the flowers in the garden are blooming. She milks the goats before she does some baking, using the eggs from the chicken coop. Then she sweeps until everything is clean and orderly. But she is old, maybe too old to live this life alone. Still, she will pack her bags and move in with her daughter in her city flat. And only this makes her shed a few tears. Die Tiefgarage eines aufgegebenen Einkaufzentrums in Tel Aviv.
Das Aufflackern einer Kerze. Die Glut einer Zigarette. Schemenhaft sind die Umrisse von Menschen zu erkennen. The underground car park of an abandoned shopping mall in Tel Aviv. A candle flickers. A cigarette glows. Welcome to hell. Jamal is one of them, the protagonist of this unusual view of Israeli-Palestinian reality. He endures all this only because he needs money to marry Nisrin, the love of his life, who is waiting for him in the Salem refugee camp in the West Bank to finish the roof of their future home.
Filmauswahl: Breaking Walls Sie werfen sich Stichworte aus ihrem Leben zu. Lieblingslieder, erste Schallplatten, Radiohits. Bill trug, als sein Idol Sinatra verstorben war, eine schwarze Krawatte. Ihre Unterhaltungen, in denen sie immer wieder zum Singen ansetzen, sind voll englischen Humors. Two friends, Stevie and John, a married couple, Bill and Mary, and sprightly old Joan with her daughter Lynn sit in pairs in front of the camera and talk about music.
They toss catchwords from their lives back and forth. Favourite songs, first records, radio hits. Bill wore a black tie when his idol Frank Sinatra died. Joan remembers that everyone had to keep quiet when her favourite singer was played on the radio. Their conversations, interrupted by the occasional burst of singing, are full of British humour.
At last they perform songs until they run out of lines. One would just love to sit down and sing with them. Aber Sonbol ist alleinstehend, geschieden, ohne Kinder und wohnt bei ihren Eltern. Sonbol Fatemi, 35 years old, is a dentist who has her own surgery. Society expects her to be married, have two children by now, work less and take care of her family, for she lives in Mashad, a city in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
But Sonbol is single, divorced and childless and lives with her parents. In her spare time she competes in car rallies and loves to tell dirty jokes. The film portrays a woman who wants to be herself and fights for it — with God on her side, every day. Filmauswahl: Genova citta aperta , Prime Time , Pake In dieser Umgebung ist der Starchirurg aus England mehr als sonst mit der Angst vor dem Scheitern seiner Kunst konfrontiert.
The little man with the big glasses who looks as if he stepped out of a Woody Allen film cycles to work every day, potters about in his garden, has a glass of red wine in front of his fireplace at night — and treads the line between life and death every day. In the Ukraine, too, where he has been treating and operating patients for the past 15 years with his friend Igor, he has helped, through the transfer of know how and medical equipment, to bring a rather medieval surgery practice up to date. In this environment, the star surgeon from England is confronted even more than usual with the fear of failure.
The cleverly plotted suspense culminates in a brain tumour operation during which the patient must remain conscious because there is no modern monitoring equipment. This is set against the story of a girl whom he was unable to help. An impressive film about human solidarity and the potential failure that accompanies all our actions. Smith lebt seit mehreren Jahren in London. Aber Kim sitzt im Rollstuhl. Doch Tanz kann mehr, als man denkt.
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So entstehen vor unseren Augen Tanzbilder, die Behinderungen vergessen lassen. Kim war sieben Jahre, als die Roten Khmer ihre Familie trennte und das Kind in ein entferntes Dorf verschleppten. Tanzen hat sie zuerst von den Propaganda-Shows jener Zeit gelernt. Kim and Kate are both rehearsing for a dance theatre in Phnom Penh. But Kim is wheelchair-bound. Years ago, she told Kate that she would never be able to dance again.
Together they created a technique that fuses tradition and modernity, disability and mobility and enables them to express themselves by dancing together. It is based on a clear body image, intimacy and the synthesis of Eastern and Western dance traditions, creating images of dancing which let us forget any disability.
Kim was seven years old when the Khmer Rouge separated her family and carried off the child to a distant village. She first learned to dance for the propaganda shows of that time. Both women were only too familiar with fighting against the odds. Thus the film, which is neither a dance film nor a film about handicapped people, skilfully combines quite diverse subjects in a single story — of a friendship. Hill Kamera, Produktion: Sven O.
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