[Cz-L] "Dieses Jahr in Czernowitz" (2004)

From: Steven Lasky <steve725_at_optonline.net>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 10:49:55 -0400
To: Czernowitz Genealogy and History <czernowitz-l_at_list.cornell.edu>
Reply-to: Steven Lasky <steve725_at_optonline.net>


 I never knew that there was a German film produced in Berlin, that was
released in 2004 called "Dieses Jahr in Czernowitz." The only American I
know in it is Harvey Keitel. It is supposed to be a documentary. I have no
idea yet what it is about. Try the link
Anybody know what it's about? The film is in German, English and Ukranian.
The 'tagline' is 'Nach Herr Zwilling und Frau Zuckermann zurück in Czenowitz
(From "Herr Zwilling und Frau Zuckermann" back to Czernowitz)'
Has anybody ever seen this film? It is 134 minutes in length and is in
Here is one external review of the film, though it is in German. The Babel
Fish English translation (imperfect, to be sure) follows:
The film review in German can be found at

The English translation, as it is done by this online/free English
translation service:

      Two opinions
      to “this year in Czernowitz” of Volker Koepp
     Czernowitz (today: Tscherniwzi) is more exact a remote city in Ukraine,
in the north of the Bukowina, a region, which was once part of the
Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. The south of the Bukowina belongs today to
Romania. Czernowitz had 150,000 inhabitants once, nearly half of Jews. But
also numerous other nationalities in the city, among other things Ukrainer,
Romanians, German, Poland and Huzulen lived.

      Today there are only few Jews in Czernowitz. Many did not survive the
Holocaust and did not go a multiplicity into the exile. Volker Koepp
aufgespührt some these persons and tried to let the memories of the Bukowina
revive: Eduard instruction man, a Cellist from Berlin, Evelyne Mayer and
Katja Rainer from Vienna, the Schaspieler Harvey Keitel and the writer
Norman Manea from New York.

      In addition, the film shows the life in Czernowitz today, both from
the view of the 90-jährigen German Johann Schlamp, and from the perspective
of the Ukrainian student Tanja Kloubert, which breaks open at the end of the
film to Germany, in order to study there further.

      1998 turn Volker Koepp here the documentary film “Mr. Zwilling and
Mrs. Zuckermann” over two older people from the city, which died in the
meantime. “This year in Czernowitz” is dedicated to these two persons.
Unfortunately Koepps newest work is guessed/advised not as alive as “Mr.
Zwilling and Mrs. Zuckermann” and tells the fates of humans occasionally
somewhat long-windedly.

      One notices also, which became too strange most protagonists this
region, that they could tell inspiring and umschweifend of it. In particular
the appearances of Harvey Keitel work usually somewhat touched down and

      Nevertheless the work opens interesting views of nevertheless most
humans unknown past of a region in Europe, in which once an alive and
multicultural life prevailed. - Worth seeing. (MR/030-Kino.de) (...) Once
we see Harvey Keitel in the roads of Czernowitz. A leader tells it of the
good old k. and k. Time, and Keitel say: “I miss it, although I do not know
it at all.” A picture like a plate: the US tourist in Europe in the search
for its roots. Keitel talks much and very enthusiastically about things,
about which he knows few. With Keitel, which is to provide for such a thing
like glamor, holds a tourist view introduction, which than only disturbs
more. Because in the center of the documentary films of Volker Koepp the
search stands after the unverstellten, true moment, in which a figure and
its history become visible. These scenes are the force center of the Koepp
films. Keitels tourist self productions are the accurate opposite.

      There are bright moments also to “this year in Czernowitz”. About if
Johann Schlamp, 89 years old and perhaps the last German in Czernowitz,
which is called today Tscherniwzi, on which road a Opperettenlied anstimmt.
Or if the writer Norman Manea talks, which was as a child in the KZ and
teaches now at the east coast of the USA literature. Manea speaks perfectly
German and English, but writes, says it, can it only on Romanian. Then it
looks lost into the camera and begins, as in an internal monologue to talk
Romanian. One moment, in which an experience comes to the expression: the
loss, which emigration means; the Gegenbild to Keitels phantom pain.

      Koepp looks for, like already in the East Prussia film “cold homeland”,
for the east Central European culture disappeared in the terror of the
totalitarianism. It is a far search: It leads to Berlin, Vienna, New York.
The dramaturgische fabric has thereby many holes. Also to the fact it may
lie that “Czernowitz” never wins the suggestiven rhythm, which distinguished
“cold homeland”.

      Many of the figures seem to travel particularly for this film after
Czernowitz. There they sit somewhat helpless in Cafés and look lost for the
houses, in which once their parents and grandparents lived. But the past is
to be aroused neither by speeches nor by the journey again to the life. In
its best instants “Czernowitz” shows, like the attempt fails to bring
destroyed offence back to speaking. This attempt would succeed, it would be

      (Source: taz)

Steven Lasky
New York
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Received on 2008-05-29 14:49:55

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