Film has become a record of a human soul. You can see it very clearly. All you need to do is to transcend the boundaries of the body. And that is what He does. He is not a filmmaker, not a director, but a confessor of souls! We present you Herz Frank – Latvian documentalist, precursor of the Riga poetic documentary school of the 60s.
Still from the film “Ten Minutes Older”, dir.: Herz Frank
Herz Frank was born into a poor Jewish family in 1923. His father passed his passion for photography onto his son, which led him to filmmaking. In one of the interviews, Frank stated that his driving force was an ability to amaze at the beauty of the world. He kept this attitude until his death in 2013.
In Frank’s eyes, not every motion picture deserved to be called a “film”. It could become one only when the camera revealed the soul and the truth of a human and the director was able to capture it. This philosophy was expressed in his unusual sensitivity on light and his choice of a black-and-white film tape that – in Frank’s opinion – gave him a possibility to convey a universal message.
One could say that he created films based on sensation and sorrow: “Supreme Court” (1988) – a conversation with a man sentenced to death; “Diagnosis” (1975) – a post-mortem examination; “The Song of Songs” (1989) – an exhausting childbirth, “Beyond the Fear” (2015) – a story of a murderer and a woman who leaves her husband to be with him. One can obviously take these films literally. However, Frank – through numerous, often Biblical contexts – encouraged his viewers to look for the sacrum, for the salvation that comes from suffering. Through such lens, we can see what makes these films universal – a Human.
Tłumaczenie: Kinga Ostapińska