“What matters most to me is to take photographs; to continue taking them and not to repeat myself. To go further, to go as far as I can.” – Josef Koudelka
Wednesday 18 May, 19:30, Rialto Amsterdam
KOUDELKA – SHOOTING HOLY LAND
Gilad Baram | Germany & Czech Republic | 2015 | 72 min
Josef Koudelka, born in 1938, is arguably one of the greatest living photographers. He burst onto the international stage in 1968, when he photographed the Russian invasion of his native Prague. His photographs were smuggled out of Prague to Magnum and published anonymously, but they were so distinctive that they refused to remain anonymous.
Koudelka is part of a generation of documentary photographers who believe fervently that if you show people what is actually happening in the world, they will understand and be moved to demand change.
Forty years after capturing the iconic images of the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, the legendary Magnum photographer arrives in Israel and Palestine. On first seeing the nine-meter-high wall built by Israel in the West Bank, Koudelka is deeply shaken and embarks on a four-year project in the region which will confront him once again with the harsh reality of violence and conflict.
Director Gilad Baram, Koudelka’s assistant at the time, follows him on his journey through the Holy Land from one enigmatic and visually spectacular location to another.
In each location – soon to become a new “Koudelka photo” – a new scene unfolds, gradually introducing us to Koudelka’s method of working and his perception of the world he is documenting as well as the people he encounters. A fascinating dialogue emerges between Baram’s cinematography and Koudelka’s still photographs, as Baram places the photographer in his own breathtaking compositions. Their austere images of a landscape carved up by concrete walls and barbed wire reveal the tragic absurdity of the infamous conflict.
“What is happening around the photographer becomes the filmmaker’s subject, and this periphery is loaded with meaning.” – Aperture Foundation
Cracking the Frame
A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.