THE WOMAN WITH THE FIVE ELEPHANTS
- THE WOMAN WITH THE 5 ELEPHANTS
- (DIE FRAU MIT DEN 5 ELEFANTEN)
- 2009, Vadim Jendreyko, Germany/Switzerland, 93 min.
"A beautifully composed gem...can't fail to grip intelligent viewers."
—Jay Weissberg, Variety
First off, the film does not involve Africa, zoos, or pachyderms. The title refers to Dostoyevsky's five major, massive novels. Svetlana Geier is the foremost German translator of the great Russian writer. Her reflections on the art of translation are lucid and poetic, but just as compelling is the story of how she came to be what and where she is. The filmmakers follow Geier on her first trip in over 60 years back to the Ukraine where she grew up, saw her father destroyed by a Stalinist purge, and survived the war by becoming an interpreter for a Nazi officer who sponsored her emigration to Germany. Director Jendreyko fashions a fascinating portrait of an admirable, articulate woman, but he also delicately suggests the parallels between the troubling moral ambiguities of Geier's life and those of the novels she translates. In German and Russian with English subtitles. Special advance screening courtesy of The Cinema Guild. 35mm. (MR)
Update 3/29: The Tuesday show at 6 PM is now SOLD OUT!