A Fleeting Passage to the Orient| 1hr : 18mins
Director: Ruth Beckermann | Producer: Josef Aichholzer
Focus Years: 1999 | Country: Austria
Ruth Beckermann goes in search of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, who refused to take her place in the corset of society and who created the myth between a fairy-tale Cinderella and a depressive marionette of the monarchy. In Egypt, which Elisabeth visited twice, Ruth Beckermann finds the scenes and timeless moments that allow a glance through the surfaces of meaning. In the oriental bazaars and the noisy streets, behind the high-rise dormitories on the periphery of the cities, where apocalyptic columns of smoke rise from the archaic potteries, present and past overlie one another like the images of a kaleidoscope. Without losing sight of her goal, she surrenders herself to the chaos of the streets and derives more pleasure from the details of everyday life than from the famous monuments. The montage of images from this journey to Egypt and the interpretation of the written descriptions of Elisabeth and her Greek companion and reader are the components of a reflexive essay on foreignness, on the power and limitations of the image, on myth and reality.