The world premiere of a restored major lost work of European avant-garde filmmaking seized by the Nazis.
Franciszka Themerson, Stefan Themerson
Poland 1931. 12min
Originally believed to have been destroyed by the Nazis, Stefan and Franciszka Themersons’ lost masterpiece, Europa, was re-discovered by chance in the Bundesarchiv Berlin in 2019. A startling prescient outcry against the rise of fascism in Europe and based on Anatol Sterns modernist poem, Europa utilises an incredible array of techniques, including hand-painting, rapid-montage, re-photography and photogram-animation to articulate the horror, inequality and moral decline that the artists witnessed from Poland in the build-up to WW2. Alongside the world premiere screening of the 2K restoration of the legendary film, we will be joined by special guests to discuss the story of the work's creation, loss and restitution as looted art. Also showing, will be two reconstructions of the film created during its absence.
- Europa. Dirs. Franciszka Themerson, Stefan Themerson. Poland 1931. 12min.
- Europa Reconstruction. Dirs Franciszka Themerson, Stefan Themerson. UK. 1983 - 1984. 9min.
- Europa II. Dir Piotr Zarębski. Poland. 1988. 14min.
Jasia Reichardt (writer on art, exhibition organiser, and curator of the Themerson Estate) will give an illustrated talk on the life and work of artists and filmmakers Stefan and Franciszka Themerson.
More speakers to be confirmed.
Europa was rediscovered by the Pilecki Institute in the Bundesarchiv, Berlin and restored by Fixafilm, Warsaw at 2K. The Commission for Looted Art in Europe negotiated the restitution of the original 35mm film material to the Themerson Estate which subsequently donated them to the BFI National Archive. A new soundtrack, commissioned by the Themerson Estate, is composed by Lodewijk Muns.
A complimentary booklet containing Anatol Sterns poem Europa, printed especially for the BFI London Film Festival, will be given out at the screening.
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