Lebendiger Himmel

super-8, 3.5 minutes, colour, 2013

This film was premiered at the One Take Super 8 Event in Regina in June 2013. It also screened at the $100 Film Festival in Calgary in February 2015.

I shot it with William in May, 2013 after looking at Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire" for the first time in a number of years. His film reminded me of my younger days as a filmmaker, exploring the city with the camera on a regular basis. More importantly, I realized that Wenders' film expressed the disconnected feeling I have with my own city. I love it but often do not feel like I belong there. As with "Wings of Desire" my character is detached and speaks in a voice over with subtitles, creating a second and third layer distant from directly connecting with the viewer. There were many places I went that I would have had no reason to go to had I not had a camera in hand. I decided it would be great to share this process with William, to show him this side of how I learned to explore.

William plays the role of an angel, clad in a long coat (vintage courtesy of Margaret) in a basically silent film. The text was written in English then translated to German by Gertrud Bessai who then helped William to perform the lines on tape. I cut together the sentences from William's one-word-at-a-time recording and the audience seemed impressed. I also presented simultaneous English translation in the form of subtitles projected below the film using an overhead projector (see clip shot from Erik Sirke in the front row, with unfortunate pov).

Program description: "William Bessai-Saul is a lonely figure who roams the streets of Regina as if experiencing it for the first time"

Clip of Eric Hill's music used in this film.