Tuesday, 7 December 2010

spectral traces : the berlin wall

Checkpoint Charlie, 60s - IMG_3158
(originally uploaded to flickr by Per Sistens)

It might not exist anymore, but the 87-mile long wall that separated West Berlin from East Berlin and East Germany, like many such structures, can't help but have a long afterlife. Cynthia Beatt's film, The Invisible Frame, explores the remnants as it retraces a 1988 bicycle trip with Tilda Swinton around the Berlin Wall. Swinton returns to find what's left and reflect on what it meant, travelling from the memorial to Gunther Litfin, the first escapee killed after the wall went up on 13 August 1961, to the woods and fields where Japan's gift of 1,400 cherry blossom trees were planted to celebrate the wall's fall in 1989. The website's photo gallery (under Bike Tour) is an absorbing map-led travelogue in its own right, and the DVD is only a few euros to download.

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