Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ

Filmstill, Sweet Terror of Memory - ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ

Sweet Terror of Memory – ψίθυροι, is a visual poem and triptych of historical– and fictional narrative inspired by and – partially, based upon my Macedonian mother’s biography, exile of The Greek Civil War, unlocking genealogical heritage of trauma.

Three women embark on a journey of perpetual memory, uprooted, torn away from each other and their motherland. Set in a dreamlike landscape of ruins and legend, a sensorial manifest of spiritual absolution – whispering, exalts towards a regard liberated upon ourselves: Mankind’s history.

A filmic collage of multiple time-dimensions vanishing and re-appearing, continuously counteracting visions of former lives recalled and projected into the future. Expressing cyclical movement of time: Ruins of recollection, incarnated in perpetuity.

 

 

 

Filmstills, Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ

“May grace and courage favour as human values, above conflict, negligence and discrimination”, Ilse Frech, 2018.

 

 

The film connects numerous historical places and Monuments of war, closely related to testimonies of women soldiers, daughters, mothers, grandmothers and creates a landscape of ruins, where Greek legend inspired the choice of locations and the choreographed movements of the three actresses, re-enacting personal memories either visions of collective trauma, each one of them situated in different territory: FYROM, as former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany and Greece.

Special thanks: Veselinka Asançarovska, Cena Borovska, Gera Ordeva, Kole Borovski, Stojan Asançarovksi, Liljana Trpcevska, Natasa Poplavska, Paraskevi Triantafyllidou, Thanos Triantafyllidis, Lazaros Anastasiou Mellios, Nikos Arabatzis and his daughters Deptina and Charissa, Katarina Bogicevik, HEAD-Genève – Geneva University of Art and Design Program Work.Master Switzerland: Laurent Schmid-Abt, Claire de Ribaupierre, Frank Westermeyer and many more, HKB – Bern University of the Arts, Cord Pagenstecher at The Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt, The Visual Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, Cinematheque of Macedonia – The Republic of Macedonia|FYROM, NFA – National Film Archive Czech Republic, Bertien van Manen and Teun Hooijer.

To all heroins, alive and those passed away, brought back to life thanks to recounts of siblings and their children, survivors of The Greek Civil War and World War II.

 

Credits, Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ (15′, 2018):

Written & Directed by Ilse Frech

Cast
Chaos in Eden | Kamka Tocinovski
Seraphim and Daimon | Silvina Buchbauer
Unison | Nikolina Kujaca

Narrated by
Tiffany-Jane Madden (English)
Amalia Charikiopoulou (Greek)
Linda Elsner, Lea Wittig, Daniela Ruocco (German)

Crew

Director of Photography
Saskia Gruyaert

Music
Florencia di Concilio

Sound Design
Peter Flamman

Editing
Rafaël Croonen
Ilse Frech

Documentary Footage
Ilse Frech

Post-production
RAV Animated Visuals Production

Crew Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) & Greece: Camera, Director of Photography  Saskia Gruyaert | Assistant Production & fixer Vasil Asancharovski | Figurants Greece, Macedonia Veselinka Asançarovska & Deptina & Charissa Crew Germany, Berlin : Camera, Director of Photography  Saskia Gruyaert | Line-Production Dafna Maimon | Location scouting Lindsay Lawson | Figurant Kinga

Sound Mixing | Dominique Fabre, Sound engineers Recording-studios Voice-over: Artracks, Athens, Greece | George Priniotakis | HEAD-Geneva, Switzerland | Dominique Fabre | HKB Bern, Switzerland | Markus Fehlmann

Produced by Ilse Frech © Visual Art, Film & Photography Production, 2018.

 

 

Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ, New Concept Installation II

Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ, New Concept Installation II – December 2017, by Ilse Frech

These visuals of the recently conceived Diptychs Series and filmstills are taken from the film Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ. A first 3D-visualised Walkthrough-Trailer was conceived in 2014. This new concept explores a multi-screen projection installation wherein the screens vary in size and possibly in texture too, as to let light through enabling to play with opacity. Archival footage is shown in dialogue with Frech’s film, conceived as diptychs; looking into both a past and a recreated visionary future, linked with the present for its repetitive nature. Thus supporting the conception of the film in the first place, creating an active gaze ‘through time’ and a fragmented visual body of memory: Ruins of perpetual recollection. One’s bodily placement defines the final edit of the work.

The film – in its conception and larger scope, is part of the research project Exile: Belonging.

Epilogue: Declaration of the United Nations

In 1945 The United Nations came into existence, when representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States. The United Nations thus officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. The document would later become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, taken up at the first session of the General Assembly in 1946. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

Project

Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ, is a visual poem of historical narrative inspired by my Macedonian mother, exile of The Greek Civil War, sparked by WWII. Embarking upon a perpetual journey of memory where genealogical heritage of trauma unlocks, set in a metaphorical visionary landscape of legend and ruins.

Living as an ethnic minority in Greek Macedonia, Slav Aegean-Macedonians, just across the border from Yugoslavia, my mother, her sisters and their parents had to flee from their natal village upon bombardments in 1948 during the Greek Civil War. At the time the village’s name was German – in what was then Aegean Macedonia, up until the Second World War, it lay peacefully on a slope surrounding the fertile valley of lake Prespa.

It was winter still, as they left by foot, passing through the mountains. They would cross with many others, known as ‘DECATA BEGALCI’, the exodus of Greek children, generating at least 55.881 political exiles (and many more hereafter), of which the exodus of the Greek children in 1948.

Reflecting upon the female body and spirit, ‘bearer of time’, encapsulating myth and recollection of traumatic events, the personal biographical narrative of my mother and her family is interlaced with biographies of other exiles from Aegean Macedonia – the Northern province of Greece; echoing the stories of  survivors, their siblings and children, in exile till this day,  entwined with recounts of Jewish women and survivors of the Holocaust,  women giving account having seen trains coming in from Greece, Thessaloniki (passing through Skopje), with one last stop: Auschwitz-Birkenau. Children, mothers and grandmothers were gassed instantly.

No one knew that those to see the century passing into the 21st, would be the only ones to stand eye to eye again, with their once beloved, yet mystic motherland. A tragedy mirroring countless stories of exiles, lived yet again, until this very day.

Hence my film isn’t merely a manifest of war, memory and trauma; gently – though faithfully, it steers its way towards Grace.

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Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ (15′, 2018)

Written, Directed & Produced by Ilse Frech

Cast
Chaos in Eden | Kamka Tocinovski
Seraphim and Daimon | Silvina Buchbauer
Unison | Nikolina Kujaca

Narrated by
Tiffany-Jane Madden (English)
Amalia Charikiopoulou (Greek)
Linda Elsner, Lea Wittig, Daniela Ruocco (German)

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A filmic collage of multiple time-dimensions vanishing and re-appearing, continuously counteracting visions of former lives recalled and projected into the future. Expressing cyclical movement of time: Ruins of recollection, incarnated in perpetuity.

Project archive