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Brev ur tystnaden
BY
Claes Söderquist

In In Letters from silence, the reconstructed home of German writer Kurt Tucholsky is portrayed. Tucholsky was a left-wing democrat of Jewish heritage, a pacifist and antimilitarist who lived in exile in Sweden between 1932 and 1935. In letters written to his friends Hedvig Muller and Walter Hasenclever, he warns of anti-democratic tendencies in politics, the military and the judicial system in Sweden as well as in Germany and the rest of Europe, but also of the current threat of Nazism. With unconventional austerity, slow travelling shots of details and empty rooms, (a form recognized from Landscape), along with the bitter tone of the letters, Söderquist conveys the existential emptiness and exclusion that exile from Germany meant for the writer. In his home in Hindås in Sweden, Tucholsky stopped writing books in 1932, choosing silence until taking his life in 1935.  , the reconstructed home of German writer Kurt Tucholsky is portrayed. Tucholsky was a left-wing democrat of Jewish heritage, a pacifist and antimilitarist who lived in exile in Sweden between 1932 and 1935. In letters written to his friends Hedvig Muller and Walter Hasenclever, he warns of anti-democratic tendencies in politics, the military and the judicial system in Sweden as well as in Germany and the rest of Europe, but also of the current threat of Nazism. With unconventional austerity, slow travelling shots of details and empty rooms, (a form recognized from Landscape), along with the bitter tone of the letters, Söderquist conveys the existential emptiness and exclusion that exile from Germany meant for the writer. In his home in Hindås in Sweden, Tucholsky stopped writing books in 1932, choosing silence until taking his life in 1935. 

English title Briefe aus dem Schweigen
Keywords Experimental, Documentary
Aspect ratio 16:9
Prod. format Generic film
Duration 00:40:00
Color Color
Year 1990
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About the artist

Claes Söderquist

Born in 1939. Studied painting at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Works as a curator and film maker. Lives in Stockholm. Chairman of Filmform’s board 1999-2012. Söderquist has curated several comprehensive exhibitions at Moderna Museet in Stockholm: “The Pleasure Dome”, American Experimental Film 1939-1979 (1980 in collaboration with Jonas Mekas), Nordic Film (1983), West German Experimental Film (1985 in collaboration with Birgit Hein) and Swedish Avantgarde Film 1924-1990 (tour in the US in collaboration with Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archives in New York).

Söderquist has also exhibited his own films and video works at the Center of Contemporary Art in Kristianstad (2014) and a solo exhibition of his work was presented at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Stockholm 2013). His films have been screened at Avant (Karlstad 2006), Moderna Museet (Stockholm 2012) and Turbidus Film (Stockholm 2014).

To find out more about Söderquist: OEI #69-70: On Film (2015), Magasinet Walden (2012 i valfiskens buk), Passager (catalogue, two volumes, 2013)

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