EMIGRATION, N.Y. - The Story of an Expulsion

 

 

 

 EGON HUMER
 Director & P
roducer

 

B I O G R A P H Y

* 1954 in Wels, Upper Austria. 1977-83 Studies at the Film and TV Department, Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. 1984-85 Studies at the Cultural Management Institute in Vienna.
Lives in Vienna.

Egon Humer`s talent was already apparent to anyone who took a close look in 1990 at his Postadresse:2640 Schlöglmuehl. His breakthrough however, came two years later with Schuld und Gedaechtnis. The skill demonstrated by Egon Humer in his other films on youth gangs, the heavy metal scene, Joseph Roth´s birthplace Brody, or the famous Milgram experiment, is demonstrated again in his three-hour-long work Emigration, N.Y.. Interviews with twelve Austrian Jews who had to leave their homeland were transformed into a sort of collective biography which, in spite of the similarities, did not diminish any of the variations or differences ... Thomas Rothschild on Egon Humer`s Emigration, N.Y. in DOX, Documentary Film Quarterly

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: F I L M O G R A P H Y

Documentary Films as Director/Writer:

1984 The Strange House (Das seltsame Haus) (co-director Karl Prossliner)
90 min., 35mm, b/w / Naturns, South Tyrol
On the "slow dying" in a South Tyrolean old people’s home for farm-workers.
TV: RAI - Italy
Festivals: Berlin 1984 - Panorama, Berlin International Film Festival

1988 T4 Hartheim 1, Dying and Living in the Castle (Sterben und Leben im Schloß)
(co-directors A. Gruber, J. Neuhauser)
90 min., 16mm, color / Hartheim, Upper Austria
On the former NS-death camp, Hartheim Castle, Upper Austria, and its contemporary inhabitants.
TV: ORF - Austria 3sat - Germany, Austria, Switzerland

1990 Postal Address: 2640 Schlöglmuehl (Postadresse: 2640 Schlöglmuehl)
90 min., 16mm, color / Schlöglmuehl, Lower Austria
On the effects of unemployment, looking at Schlöglmuehl’s, Lower Austria, workers’ housing estate, eight years after the village’s main employer, a paper mill, closed down.
TV: 3sat - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, ORF - Austria
Festivals: Vienna 1990 - Competition, International Documentary Film Festival / Leipzig 1990 -
Competition, Int. Documentary Film Festival / Duisburg 1990 - Documentary Film Week /
Marseille 1991- Investigation Competition, Biennale Européenne du Documentaire /
Award: Golden Cadre 1990 (to Peter Freiß for Best Austrian Documentary Cinematography)

1990 Burn Out. Medicine at its Borders (Medizin an den Grenzen) (TV)
52 min., Betacam SP / St. Anna Children’s Hospital, Vienna
Scientific documentation on the work of doctors and nurses at a Viennese children’s cancer ward, who often accompany children until to their death.
TV: ORF - Austria 3sat - Germany, Austria, Switzerland / Hessian Broadcast - Germany

1992 Guilt and Remembrance (Schuld und Gedaechtnis)
90 min., Betacam SP / Klagenfurt, Graz, Rechnitz
Four former high-ranking Austrian National Socialists who have already for many years been living as respected members of Austrian Society, talking about their engagement for Hitler, their complicity
participation in the Nazi-System and their unbreakable identification with National Socialism.
TV: ORF - Austria
Festivals: Vienna 1992 - Viennale, Vienna International Film Festival / Duisburg 1992 - Documentary Week /
Saarbruecken 1992 - Max Ophuels Film Festival / European Film Award 1992- Documentary Section /
Minnesota 1993- Rivertown International Filmfestival / New York 1993 - Human Rights Watch Film Festival

1992 The Tunnel (Der Tunnel) (script: E. Humer, Oskar Knasmueller)
58 min., Betacam SP / Loibl-Pass, Belgrad, Klagenfurt
Contemporary history documentation. Between 1941 and 1945 prisoners of the Loiblpaß-concentration-camp (an extension of Mauthausen) drove a tunnel through the Karawankenmountains
between Austria and the former Yugoslavia. This tunnel connects two persons to this day. The one fought on the side of the partisans, the other was SS-doctor in many death-camps.
TV: ORF - Austria

1992 Running Wild
Semi-documentary on Vienna’s youth-gangs. Young "fringe groups" and "outsiders" in search for orientation and values.
TV: ORF - Austria
Festivals: Vienna 1992 - Viennale, Vienna International Film Festival / Duisburg 1992 -
Documentary Week (opening film) / Saarbruecken 1992 - Max Ophuels Film Festival

1993 The Risk-Society (Die Risikogesellschaft) (TV)
53 min., Betacam SP, Stereo / Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Zurich.
Scientific documentary. In 1991, 108 major catastrophes occurred, with 156.916 casualties and almost 11 billion dollars insurance less. Almost two thirds of all damages were not of natural origin, but directly
caused by humans. Risk-experts talk about the dangers of modern society.
TV: ORF - Austria

1993 The Bands (script: E. Humer, Manfred Bartunek)
90 min., Betacam SP transfered to 35mm / Vienna
Concert film about Vienna’s underground bands. From "Hardcore" to "Death-Metal". The Bands has a simple structure: The city - the song - the concert. The music: fast/slow, loud and soft. Music and city-sounds interact. Music from the bands’ viewpoint. Utmost closeness to intensity, concentration and perspiration. No distances - the stage as arena - the artistic act as the focal point.
TV: ORF - 1996
Festivals: Vienna 1993 - Viennale, Vienna International Film Festival / Salzburg 1993 - Diagonale,
All-Austrian Film Festival / Berlin 1994 - International Forum of New Cinema, Berlin
International Film Festival / Sao Paolo 1994

1994 Journey to Brody (Reise nach Brody) (TV)
43 min. Betacam SP / Brody (Ukraine)
Searching the traces of the writer Joseph Roth in his native town Brody (Ukraine) on the occasion of
his hundredth birthday. The film is a journey into "Eastern-European reality" of 1992, and tries to follow, in tone and atmosphere, Roth’s 1924 travel story "Journey to Galizia". At the same time, text and film work against an idea of Galizia, which is broadly disseminated in Western Europe even today.
TV: ORF - Austria 3sat - Germany, Austria, Switzerland

1994 Obedience and Disobedience (Gehorsam und Verweigerung) (TV)
43 min. Betacam SP, Stereo / Munich, Freiburg/Br., Lausanne, Utrecht, New York, Baltimore, Yale
Scientific documentary on destructive obedience. The industrialized mass murder in the Third Reich, atrocities in other wars and cruelties which seemingly "normal" citizens commit against other human beings: The film follows the findings of the American social psychologist Stanley Milgram to the point where they lead to murder, to the extinction of peoples, to the dark side of human existence.
TV: ORF - Austria
Festivals: Salzburg 1994 - Diagonale, All-Austrian Film Festival / Leipzig 1994

1995 Emigration, N.Y. - The Story of an Expulsion (Die Geschichte einer Vertreibung)
180 min., Betacam SP / New York
Between March of 1938 and November 1941, the National Socialists employed discriminatory decrees, laws and open terror to drive 130.000, mostly Jewish citizens into exile. Approximately 30,000 of them fled to the United States. New York was the preferred center. Egon Humer visited twelve of these former Austrians of Jewish origin in New York. The talks he had with them form the basis of EMIGRATION, N.Y. Seven women and five men talk about their childhood in Austria, living under constant existential danger after the ‘Anschluß’, the loss of property, the struggle to emigrate, the strains of the mostly odyssey-like journey, the arrival in a foreign country where not only the language was alien to them; the poverty and self-doubt of a refugee’s existence, survival, the knowledge that relatives back in Europe were being persecuted and murdered. They speak about their search for a new identity, their memories, fears and hopes which they experienced during later visits to their "homeland".
TV
: ORF (Kunst-Stuecke) - Austria
Festivals: Vienna, October1995 - Viennale / Salzburg, December 1995 - Diagonale, All-Austrian Film Festival /
Berlin, February 1996 - International Forum of New Cinema, Berlin Intern. Film Festival /
Prague, June 1996 - International Film Festival "Golden Golem" / Jerusalem, July 1996 - Jerusalem Film Festival /
New York, October 1996 - New York International Film Festival / New York, October 1996 - "New America,
New Americans" / Denver, October 1996 - Denver International Film Festival / Melbourne, Sydney, Perth,
November 1996 - Festival of Jewish Cinema / Duisburg, November 1996 - Documentary Film Week /
Odivelas, November 1996 - Encontres Internacionais de Cinema Documental Amascultura



Awards:

1979 "Prix du Cinema de Recherché", Rencontre Internationale Henri Langlois, to FLICKA

1989 "Star of the Year" AZ, Munich, Section TV documentaries, for T4 HARTHEIM 1;
"Arunda Award Austria" to T4 HARTHEIM 1

1991 "Award of the German Medical Journalists" to BURN OUT

1992 "Vienna Film Award" to GUILT AND REMEMBRANCE and RUNNING WILD

1993 Honor Award of the Republic of Austria for Film Art 1992, Documentary Section

1995 Audience Award, Diagonale, All-Austrian Film Festival, to EMIGRATION, N.Y.

1996 EMIGRATION, N.Y. Film of the Month, August 1996, epd Film

1996 Honorary Mention, PRIX EUROPE, to EMIGRATION, N.Y.

1996 EMIGRATION, N.Y. Documentary of the Year, epd Film

1996 Award of the German Film Critics to EMIGRATION, N.Y.


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