Drumming. Ritual chant. A stone wall, before which squats a row of dark figures with serious expressions. Then a door opens in the wall, a blinding green light shines through the crack. The squatting men shield their eyes with their hands.
The opening scene of the Estonian animated film HOTEL E symbolically mirrors the guiding thought behind the Special Programme Licht durch Finsternis. Mait Laas sieht Jakob Böhme: darkness and light are inseparably linked with one another, neither of them can exist without the other.
Or in Böhme’s own words: “Darkness is the greatest enemy of light, and yet the reason that light may be revealed.”
No Light without Darkness: The Cinema
Jakob Böhme was a German philosopher and theosophist. Born in Görlitz, he lived in what is today Saxony during the turn of the century around 1600 – that is to say, in an age marked by religious conflicts following the Reformation. In his work, he engaged in an extensive examination of the notion that everything in the world is made of opposites.
The Estonian film director, script writer and artist Mait Laas takes up this fundamental idea of Böhme’s and creates a connection to cinema experience: the latter requires both light and darkness for its magic to be able to unfold. The Special Programme he has co-curated with André Eckardt presents eight enthralling works from 100 years of animated film: four for the thematic focus “Light”, and four for the focus on “Darkness”.