The woman with 5 elephants

The woman with 5 elephants
               Genre: Documentary
  In the circles of literature Svetlana Geier is a fixed size. Typically, translators are available in the literary world more in the shadows, but the translator of the works of Dostoevsky’s this darkness to escape the latest in 1994 when she presented a new translation of Crime and Punishment , the new and much more fitting title Crime and Punishment wore. Since it is known as “the woman who has the Dostoevsky brought back to sound.” Vadim Jendreyko, has moved with his film The woman with 5 elephants of the translator and paints a complex and fascinating portrait of a woman who by wisdom and infinite love of language – for the German and the Russian – fascinated. What at first seems like a typical television portrait wins, thanks to the immense charisma of the protagonist soon be a tremendous charisma that makes this film more than just a portrait of a celebrated translator.

5 of your elephant called Svetlana Geier at the end of the film loving their new translations of Dostoevsky’s novels Crime and Punishment evil spirits (previously known as The demons ), The green boy (formerly: The boy ), The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot . For their work on the novels takes vultures, the financially thanks to a lectureship at the university was always independent, a lot of time. How do these translations, which says among other things, this film. It shows Mrs. Hansen, who holds Svetlana vulture translations as a secretary on a typewriter and M. Kloth, the conscientious auditor, reads to the next step, the resulting pages and conscientiously with the translator goes through line by line, sentence by sentence – which in some Loriot scenes looks almost like a sketch, if the agile woman is fighting for every word said, trying to convince. For all the gentle quirkiness sequences such as these contribute but never denunciatorily, they provide much more for light, bright moments in a film, which really deals more with a dry matter.

But it’s not just the constellations that the portrait of this incomparable tone between slapstick, draft and loving figure drawing type. Even scenes like the family gatherings in the beautiful house of the translator in Freiburg, her memories of her childhood and youth in Kiev, on the horrors of Stalin’s purges, which her father fell victim to meetings with the German occupiers during the Second World War and the Moved to Germany in 1943 to supplement the picture and give an insight into a life full of setbacks and reversals. Finally, Svetlana Geier breaks due to an invitation to accompany her granddaughter Anna for 65 years on a journey to the Ukraine, it is an encounter with the ghosts of the past, which it presents itself boldly.

Thanks to large focal lengths, the Sprinkle always details such as close-ups of the hands of Svetlana vultures in the film, won the portrait to a close proximity to his protagonist. Nevertheless, at crucial moments, the film is about (if Svetlana vulture son John died from the effects of an industrial accident at age 50 years) very discreetly withdrew the director and the translator makes room for emotions and feelings. One senses that the cooperation between Jendreyko, his excellent camera crews and Svetlana Geier of mutual respect and a kind of friendship was marked. And one wishes that there were more of such documentation, which resonates in this atmosphere that turns the woman with 5 elephants a real documentary treasure – not only for lovers of literature of Dostoevsky.

(Joachim Kurz)

Title: The woman with 5 elephants Country of production: Germany, Switzerland Year of production: 2009 Length: 93 (minutes) of material: Real Fiction Film Distribution

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