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Nothing (excerpt)

Nothing (excerpt)

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Nothing to be written here

video, 44 minutes


Editing by Jennifer Abbott
Camera by Kevin Matthews, Bo Myers and

Wendy Oberlander
Hahn & Daughters Productions©1996

Nothing to Be Written Here explores the artist’s discovery of her father’s wartime experiences. Mixing personal narrative and historical documentary, the video traces the internment of Austrian and German refugees in eastern Canada from 1940 to 1943. A silent chapter from Canadian history, it records yet another unknown moment in the Jewish Diaspora of the twentieth century.

The public and private silence surrounding the story compelled Oberlander to examine her inheritance, leading her to public archives, unpublished memoirs and former internees. The result is a deep and vivid essay that incorporates a historical account, a personal narrative and her father’s memories. Archival footage and documents, combined with visits to former camp sites in eastern Canada, examine the construction of memory and history, Jew and nation.

An elegant layering of film and video images – water, handwritten letters, fire, a boat and a suitcase – builds on the complex stories that unravel in Oberlander’s hands.

Gifts and cruelties of displacement,

Nancy Pollack, FUSE, Winter, 1997.

“Enemy Aliens”: The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940-1943, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Spring 2012.

The friends Canada insisted were foes,

Globe and Mail, July 13, 2012.

How Jewish 'enemy aliens' overcame...,

National Post, February 7, 2014.

Virtual Museum of Canada, with primary sources.

An archive
of the last 30 years.

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