The title refers to the eponymous 1937 poem by Else Lasker-Schüler, in which the poet writes that “what once was: love” can be found at the cinema. Two decades on from this, it was a love of cinema that brought together two people who significantly expanded – today one might say, diversified – the film history of post-war Germany, encompassing both the way films are viewed as well as the discourse surrounding the medium: Erika and Ulrich Gregor.
Alice Agneskirchner’s documentary follows various paths to get right up close to the founders of Arsenal and the International Forum of New Cinema: on the one hand via the eventful life of the couple, who have been married for over 60 years; on the other via those who have accompanied them along the way, including such prominent figures as Jutta Brückner, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch. The films of which the Gregors are particularly fond and to which they gave their full backing are also central, as the duo becomes reacquainted with Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, István Szabó’s Apa and Helke Sander’s Die allseitig reduzierte Persönlichkeit – Redupers. This is not only a film about love and cinema but also a piece of West German history.
DE 2021, 155 Min.
Regie & Buch: Alice Agneskirchner
Kamera: Jan Kerhart
Schnitt: Silke Botsch
mit Erika Gregor, Ulrich Gregor