On Monday May 28th the VietNam Film Institute presented a new documentary film about Ivens in VietNam at the occassion of a ceremony in Nijmegen celebrating 50 years of solidarity between Nijmegen and VietNam. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of VietNam in The Hague, Mr. Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen, and activists from the 1960s and 70s supporting VietNam, attended this meeting. The theme 'Looking back for a better future' was illustrated with specialists presenting innovative technologies from Nijmegen in nowadays projects in Vietnam.
Chris Marker (1921-2012) is one of the finest examples of an essay-filmmaker. TheCinémathèque Française shows the exhibition ‘Chris Markers and the 7 Lives of a Cineaste’ (until 29 July) and an almost complete retrospective including the films to which he contributed as a friend and collaborator of Joris Ivens …à Valparaiso (commentary), Rotterdam Europort (commentary) and the collective film Loin de Vietnam (producer). Only Le ciel, la terre is lacking (commentary).
The International Documentary Festival in Paris, Cinéma du reel, celebrates its 40th anniversary with a retrospective ‘What is real? 40 years of thinking’. One of the films is Cinemafia. Rencontre 1. Jean Rouch parle avec Joris Ivens et Henri Storck shot on the beach of the Dutch village Katwijk in 1980. Also the competition for ‘Prix Joris Ivens’ (the Joris Ivens/Cnap Award of 7.500 euro) for first films will be presented.
The DEFA Foundation in Berlin released a new German DVD with Ivens-films in conjunction with the book Günter Jordan published about these films. DEFA already had launched a DVD with Song of the Rivers in and now presents The Wind Rose, Friendship Will Win and The Peace Cycle Tour Warsaw-Berlin-Prague 1952.
The long awaited book (in German) about Ivens and his East-German films, written by thé specialist in this field, Günter Jordan, has been published by the DEFA Foundation. This beautiful book describes in 680 pages the triumph in the 1950’s, the condemnation at the end of the 1960’s when Ivens became persona non grata in the GDR, until the resurrection of Ivens’ DEFA-films.
On 21 February a multimedia concert by the young Cologne music ensemble Electronic ID will be performed in the framework of the controversial exhibition ‘Gurlitt: Status Report Nazi Art Theft’ including Ivens’Rain (1929) in the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn (Germany). The theme of the concert is ‘Inside Exiles’
Paul Wendorf, a graduate of Columbia University, fought for 19 months in the XVth International Brigade at the Jarama and Brunete front, before he was killed in action. His cousin found letters which proof that he was filmed for Ivens’ The Spanish Earth in April-May 1937.
Chiara Bonfiglioli recently published her splendid book chapter about the DEFA filmproduction Die Windrose (1957, The Compass Rose) of which Joris Ivens was supervisor. ‘Die Windrose is a significant example of cross-border cooperation and provides important insights on the internationalists networks that developed after 1945 between Western-Europe, the Soviet Union and the Third World.’