Programmed by Jürgen Ellinghaus
Vera Kohn, a Jewish woman of German descent born in Prague in 1912, fled from Czechoslovakia to Latin America in 1939, where she built a new life for herself as a theater actress in Quito, Ecuador. The trauma of losing home stayed with her forever. A severe mental breakdown changed her life. The documentary essay tells the story of various encounters between the Austrian filmmaker and the remarkable ninety-eight years old psychologist and Zen teacher.
A dignified old lady, a visionary, whose life experience alone embodies the sufferings of a century. A young filmmaker in search of answers to his questions. A view of the world, wisdom passed down from one generation to another… With this biographic portrait born of an encounter that was both improbable and fortunate (but in no way fortuitous), in the tropics 10,000 km from home, Bernhard Hetzenauer understands more about his family history, and, after a surprising turn, about his own story. And Vera Kohn, who’s spent her whole life trying to heal by healing others – victims, perpetrators, and those who did nothing – who knows all about suffering and its transmission, generously and perhaps as a testament, shares the fruits of her reflections and experiences. And the filmmaker, who avoids the temptation of mere personal introspection, in turn shares them with us, paying homage to her in his own way, generous with both his time and his images.