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Immer Fernweh (2011)

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Das Künstlerbleben Der Johanna Kaiser

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Documentary | Short

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19 October 2011 (Germany)  »

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1.78 : 1
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'Always farsickness'
25 July 2013 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

A small, intimate but artful work about a female painter I'd never heard of before: Johanna Kaiser, who lived in East-Germany (1912-1991). A few things stand out when looking at her life:

1. She starts painting earlier on, but not very much until late in her life, at the age of 60 (not long after her husband dies), and is autodidact. 2. She wanted to go to a dance school, and did so very shortly, but her mother decided it wasn't right for such a 'nice girl' and instead she was sent to a domestic science (home economics) school. Not long after she married and had two children. 3. All through her life she longed for a fuller life, expressing in her diary an undefined longing something far away. 'Fernweh' literally means farsickness, or wanderlust.

Her disappearing for some time with another man (while still married) and her extravagant behavior at parties illustrate the latter perfectly, while the words and sentences on screen tell poetically of how her family, neighbours and others experienced her. In between fragments from her diary are read, that tell mainly of her unfulfilled desires.

Johanna Kaiser's story is endearing, and her art is passionate, made with vibrant colors and intense brushstrokes.

8 out of 10.


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