The Rhine Flows to the Mediterranean Sea
Der Rhein fließt ins MittelmeerOffer Avnon
Opening Film 2021
After ten years in Germany, where he acquired “the beautiful language of the former arch enemy”, the filmmaker returns to Haifa and takes stock of the time spent between the rivers Rhine and Neisse, but also looks at his home from a changed perspective. The result is a complex montage of images from those years: conversations, landscapes and objects, sought and found in Germany, Poland and Israel.
“The Rhine Flows to the Mediterranean Sea” attempts the Sisyphean task of a localization between philo- and anti-Semites, the anxious and the indifferent, those who remember and those who suppress. Not an image or sentence that doesn’t trigger a multitude of associations. The devil is in the detail: This film opens our eyes to this. What are the traumas that perpetuate the Holocaust, which the filmmaker, son of a Polish survivor, was unable to forget, “never, not for a single day” in all those years in Germany? What mechanisms of suppression are at work among the relatives of the perpetrators, of the victims? How is the perception, the mind, the memory of the individual shaped by belonging to a nation, a religion or political group? Offer Avnon gives fragmentary answers and each raises new questions. The search for the “uncanny” he began with his film is far from over.