Remapping the Origins
“Can a fascist say "I love you" in another language?” asks Johannes Gierlinger the director of Remapping the Origins. The polish city of Bialystok is the birthplace of Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof a Polish medical doctor, inventor, and writer mostly known for creating Esperanto in 1873 while still in school, a constructed language that he believed could be a universal tool to help bridge the gap between different languages. But Bialystok is also the birthplace of David Abelevich Kaufman, known worldwide as Dziga Vertov, one of the most important cinema theorist ever, Soviet pioneer, revolutionary filmmaker, documentary, and newsreel director. The city is also the place where anarchistic communes were organized during the Russian Revolution and where the Nazis build a ghetto for Jews. With these elements the director creates a multi-layered visual essay that confronts the story of Bialystok with the insurgence of the far right wing parties in Poland today. Will Europe today still have another opportunity to build a different more open, tolerant, and democratic society?
Giona A. Nazzaro