Stills / Trailer

Life? Or Theatre? (Leven? Of Theater?)

, 2011

Named for Official Selection at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Life? Or Theatre? introduces audiences to the life and work of German-Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon. A layered and complex look at the artist’s life, the film takes its starting point from the 700-page painted life story that Salomon called Life? Or Theatre? A Play with Music. She left the piece for safekeeping shortly before being deported to Auschwitz in 1943 where she died.

Dutch director Frans Weisz made a feature film about Salomon’s life and work in 1980 after finding a previously unknown-of, unpublished letter on which he based his film about Salomon’s life. Excerpts from this film are mixed with black-and-white family photos, images of Salomon’s paintings and interviews with people close to the story who, upon reading the found letter for the first time, give their views on its shocking revelation.

85 min / Dutch, French, German and English
Director — Frans Weisz