A mesmerizing artist whose life is a fight to the death between ethics and aesthetics safeguards her faith in fairy tales through fascism, communism, and an unwanted exile into late capitalism.
We all wrestle with our past. Some more than others. Romanian Jewish avant-garde poet, musician, visual artist, femme fatale, prodigious drinker and terminal smoker Nina Cassian had more than most to wrestle with: her refuge in the Communist underground during the Fascist 1940s put her first in complicit proximity to the Stalinist regime of the 1950s, then propelled her on a collision course with the Ceaușescu regime in the 1970s, and eventually sent her into an unwanted New York exile in 1985, when her samizdat poems led to a secret police murder.
An intensely personal film about art, belief, and politics, The Distance Between Me and Me looks at the friction between individual memory and official archives, between our present reality and the narratives we construct about our former selves by setting Nina’s words during her last year of life against a rich archive of films, music, poems, official television appearances, never-before-seen private recordings, and secret police surveillance materials. The result is as an illumination of the ethical and aesthetic quandaries that belong as much to our past as they seem to prefigure our troubled future.
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