The son of documentary filmmaker Leo Hurwitz created a beautiful website about the films of his father. Most of his unique social documentaries are available on-line now and proof their current value. Joris Ivens used excerpts from Hurwitz’ films in at least four of his documentaries, like the wellknown and shocking ‘looting & shooting’ sequence of policemen against steelworkers on strike in 1993 in Ambridge. https://leohurwitz.com/
On Friday 7 February students at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf will see historical footage, films, documentaries and interviews, with among others Regen/Rain (Joris Ivens/Mannus Franken, 1929). Teacher and filmmaker Claudia von Alemann will show her own work and discuss the films of others. The Academy of visual arts at Düsseldorf was itself the filmset of 'Werk ohne Autor' (Never Look Away; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2018).
On Thursday 16th of January H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, conferred the Order of Friendship posthumously to Joris Ivens. Mrs. Annemiek Nooteboom received the Friendship Medal on behalf of the Ivens-family. She gave the medal and certificate to the European Foundation Joris Ivens to keep and treasure it forever in the archives.
The Vietnamese government honors Joris Ivens posthumously by conferring the Friendship Medal. This award will be presented on Thursday afternoon 16th of January by H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the embassy in The Hague. A family member of Joris Ivens, Annemiek Nooteboom, will receive the medal on behalf of the family.
On Friday 23 October a film crew of Chinese broadcasting (CCTV-9) shoot some footage in Nijmegen for a four-part series on Joris Ivens and China. Prof. Zhang Tong Dao from Beijing University Beida, teacher as well as filmmaker, is the director. Each episode will focus on one of the Chinese films Ivens made between 1938-1988. Dutch filmmaker René Seegers, who made Joris Ivens Old Friend of the Chinese People in 2008, assisted this film crew during the shooting.
Documents and photos from the collectio ...
On 30 and 31 October a delegation from Quang Tri province (central Vietnam) visited the city of Nijmegen, at the invitation of the municipality of Nijmegen, The Economic Board and the European Foundation Joris Ivens. Ms. Ngo Thi Hoa, ambassador of Vietnam in The Hague, attended the meetings. In Quang Tri the Ben Hai River is situated on the 17th parallel, where Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens in 1967 shot the long documentary Le 17e parallele. The delegation was headed by mr. Hoang Nam, the vice-president of the Peoples C ...
The NDR-Radiophilharmonie will perform 'Fourteen Ways to Describe Rain' by German composer Hanns Eisler, together with the projection of Ivens' film Regen (1929, Rain) in the Sprengel-Museum in Hannover on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October 2019.
Recently two new books were published in Vietnam about Joris Ivens. The first one describes the life and career of Joris Ivens as a filmmaker with a special focus on Vietnam, the second book is the result of the International Joris Ivens Symposium, held in Hanoi in November 2018. All lectures of Vietnamese filmmakers and friends/assistents of Ivens as well as international film scholars are included.
Matera in the Italian region of Basilicata is this year’s European Capital of Culture. The exhibition ‘Visione Unica’ of the design group Formafantasma includes Joris Ivens’ documentary l’ Italia Non è un Paese Povero (1960) as part of a visual archive about the very rich patrimony of this region. The last decades Matera shows a remarkable switch from poor and subordinated region towards a spectacular cultural pinnacle, praised by UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and used by many famous ...
On 16 November at IDFA Amsterdam the documentary Marceline. A Woman. A Century made by German director Cordelia Dvorak will be premiered. This portrait of the strong-minded filmmaker Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018) and fourth wife of Joris Ivens, saw its final editing two days before she passed away. In this film we see Marceline serving her guests coffee or vodka in her Paris apartment at the rue des Saints Peres.
At the occasion of the 120th birthday of Joris Ivens and the 50th anniversary of the debut of the film The 17th Parallel, The People’s War (Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens, 1968) the VietNam Film Institute in collaboration with the European Foundation Joris Ivens are organizing an international Ivens-seminar in Hanoi on 22-24 November. Renowned (film) scholars from Vietnam, Canada, USA, Australia, Indonesia, China and The Netherlands will provide an impulse to the Ivens Studies around the world. Former Vietnamese co ...
On Monday May 28th the VietNam Film Institute presented a new documentary film about Ivens in VietNam at the occassion of a ceremony in Nijmegen celebrating 50 years of solidarity between Nijmegen and VietNam. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of VietNam in The Hague, Mr. Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen, and activists from the 1960s and 70s supporting VietNam, attended this meeting. The theme 'Looking back for a better future' was illustrated with specialists presenting innovative technologies from Nijmegen in nowadays projects in Viet ...
The DEFA Foundation in Berlin released a new German DVD with Ivens-films in conjunction with the book Günter Jordan published about these films. DEFA already had launched a DVD with Song of the Rivers in and now presents The Wind Rose, Friendship Will Win and The Peace Cycle Tour Warsaw-Berlin-Prague 1952.
The long awaited book (in German) about Ivens and his East-German films, written by thé specialist in this field, Günter Jordan, has been published by the DEFA Foundation. This beautiful book describes in 680 pages the triumph in the 1950’s, the condemnation at the end of the 1960’s when Ivens became persona non grata in the GDR, until the resurrection of Ivens’ DEFA-films.
The legacy of Joris Ivens
it's obvious that by working with a director like Ivens you learn lots of things that become part of you. You don't even remember any more what you take from it. One key thing, as we've often said, is that when we worked with him, we realised we weren't documentary directors. So much so that when we were filming in Sicily – because he couldn't come to Sicily to do the shooting, he had to quickly edit the other two episodes: only Vittorio and I went and shot the Sicilian episode – he said, after seeing the material: ‘This is more for a fiction film than a documentary!’ In fact, going down there, we had invented lots of stories, passing them off as true. I remember at a certain point during the trip from Nuovo Pignone as far as Gela, I saw a band playing in a village. We stopped ahead and I said to the assistant: ‘Go to that village there, listen to this band, then put them on a truck and tomorrow we'll head down, that way you'll get them to cross our path: we'll do the filming while they're passing by, with the band playing’. When Ivens saw it, he asked: ‘Is it real?’ And I replied: ‘Of course! We came across them on the street and then told them to do it all over again as a favour!’ ‘Ah, good, very good’. Now, Ivens said so, but also in its cinematic ‘truth’, it was all true and all false – true and false, but in the right way! And maybe this is what we have taken from it. Even he saw the poverty when he came to the South – where there are also true documents of the rooms where people live, of the pictures on the walls, the flies, etc. – he did the same thing. You'll have heard the story of the olive tree that fed the two families who lived there. None of it is true! In fact, when we were talking, we saw a beautiful olive tree and he came up with the idea of creating this story that isn't true… or rather: it's ‘true’, essentially quite true, and yet it's not. If you go and check, you'll discover I went to choose the characters there myself. Together with Tinto Brass, we went to choose those who could play this part. So it isn't actually ‘true’, but this is also the truth, that is, the truth is very often invented. And he, a great documentary maker, was one who documented and invented even reality itself in order to make what he told even truer.
How important is the European Foundation Joris Ivens today?
It's very important! I'd say especially at the moment with a revival of interest in documentary filmmaking, which had quite been forgotten. This comes from someone who doesn't make documentaries, who has always made fiction films: when we were young we did indeed love the film history of the great artists I mentioned before, but we also loved documentaries. We didn't consider documentaries a ‘lesser part’ of cinema; it was the kind of filmmaking Eisenstein or John Ford did. Then instead, little by little, this focus was lost and the fault, particularly in Italy, lies with the governments we've had: because we didn't like making documentaries? Because we were forced to keep within the 10 minutes, since they were combined with films; and in 10 minutes any idea is contracted! This is why we made documents that were ‘film tasters’, neither documentaries nor films, so hybrids that occasionally turned out to be pretty good, but essentially weren't satisfactory. It was a way to discourage the production of documentaries. Vittorio De Seta, one of the greatest Italian documentary filmmakers, was an exception! Then, recently, as you've seen, a documentary won an award in Venice. This is a major event. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's a good film. But what's particularly good is the choice made by Biennale director, Alberto Barbera, to include this film in the Festival and that the jury then selected it for an award. So right now, it is very important to rediscover the maestro who has created the greatest documentary works, Joris Ivens, and then to make him known, in various circles, not only at the Cinémathèque Française, but everywhere. This is the aim of the Ivens Foundation. It would be nice to go back to China, where Ivens was; it would be interesting to see the relationship between his China and the China of today. Or to South Vietnam – not North, because that would be complicated. It would help understand. Let's take Terra di Spagna (The Spanish Earth, 1937): it would be important to go to Spain and reproduce this documentary, among other things written by Hemingway, with a commentary by Orson Welles – in short: it also has a fine cast, and presents itself well! So the force of Joris Ivens' films is once again current, precisely today, in the battle that's being fought for documentaries in the film world.