Ella Maillart – Double Journey
Mariann Lewinsky, Antonio Bigini
»21 July. On some days that we spend in the desert, in the heat, we wonder how we could possibly have left beautiful Switzerland. We talk about the impossibility of living a life of compromise, or about being forced to accept the destiny chosen for us as women. We talked about developing, being assertive, loving someone, dedicating ourselves to a cause.«
– Ella Maillart
It’s the summer of 1939 and the Swiss writer Ella Maillart travels to Asia with her friend Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Ella wants to make a film and help Annemarie kick her drug habit. In Kabul, she realises she has to find a completely new direction in her life. She travels alone through British India as war rages in Europe. Maillart’s letters and diary entries tell the story of this journey.
Lewinsky and Bigini use newly restored 16mm and 35mm footage that documents Maillart’s experiences travelling in Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal. Via the clear vision of its heroine, the film explores regions that today we know as war zones. Based on female adventurer Maillart’s own letters, diary entries and photographs, the film is a unique cinematic record of a legendary journey.
The film historian and author Lewinsky curates film programmes and retrospectives on directors, screenwriters and actresses. She has restored films by Ella Maillart, Renée Schwarzenbach-Wille and Willy Leuzinger, among others, and also produces DVD editions. Lewinsky lives and works in Zurich.
The films of the author and film-maker Bigini have been shown at international competitions and festivals such as Visions du Réel, Doclisboa, Torino Film Festival and Festa del Cinema di Roma. For the Cineteca di Bologna, he curated the biggest exhibition to date about Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Films by Antonio Bigini
Formato ridotto 2012