It Is Time

Today the curtain falls at the 40th edition of the Duisburg Documentary Film Festival. It is one of the important festivals for German-language documentary film, rich in tradition and valued by visitors for its laid-back atmosphere. This year the festival took place under the motto “Es ist Zeit” [It is time] between 7 – 13 November 2016. Selected knowingly or not by the festival organizers, “It is time” is at the same time the concluding line for Paul Celan’s poem “Corona” as translated by John Felstiner in Paul Celan: Poet Survivor Jew. Beyond the festival’s motto, two films are directly or indirectly related to Czernowitz.

The Dreamed Ones by Ruth Beckermann, whose father was born in Czernowitz.


Festival Director Werner Ružička, Ruth Beckermann


Landstück by Volker Koepp, the author/director of “Mr. Zwilling and Mr. Zuckermann”, “This Year in Czernowitz” and “In Sarmatien”.


Festival Director Werner Ružička, Volker Koepp


Literary Supplement: Corona by Paul Celan, translated by John Felstiner in Paul Celan: Poet Survivor Jew.

Autumn nibbles its leaf right from my hand: we’re friends.
We shell time from the nuts and teach it to walk:
time turns back into its shell.

In the mirror is Sunday,
in dream goes sleeping,
the mouth speaks true.

My eye goes down to my lover’s loins:
we gaze at each other,
we say dark things,
we love one another like poppy and memory,
we slumber like wine in the seashells,
like the sea in the moon’s blood-beam.

We stand at the window embracing, they watch from the street:
It’s time people knew!
It’s time the stone consented to bloom,
a heart beat for unrest.
It’s time it came time.

It is time.

Personally, I do have a high affinity for Paul Celan’s poem Corona. Read more at: “John Cage, Paul Celan, John Felstiner and Edgar Hauster in Halberstadt”.

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