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VENICE 2005 Horizons

Veruschka for eternity

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Final documentary in competition in the Horizons section at la Mostra, Veruschka – (m)ein inszenierter Köorper which was co-directed by the American Paul Morrissey, icon of the pop-art underground, and German photographer Bernd Böhm, gave today an ultimate demonstration of the 360 degrees programming at this edition of the Venice festival. A panorama which concludes, however, with three documentaries (Veruschka, East of Paradise and Belzec [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
) dealing with the heavy burden of the Second World War, in particular in Eastern Europe, and its influence on the fate of future generations.

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A German production made by Peter Luz for BFB Studios in partnership with Munich based Morefilms and the support of ZDF and Arte, Veruschka – (m)ein inszenierter Köorper retraces the fate of the Countess Veruschka von Lehndorff whose father took part in a failed attempt to blow up Hitler and was found hanged when she was three years old, and the child was imprisoned in a camp run by the Gestapo until the end of the war. Managing to get to Italy and a design school in Florence, the young woman suddenly finds herself propelled into the fashion world as a top model. Her international fame grew as she conquered New-York where she established herself in artistic Bohemian society. Posing for Salvador Dali and photographers Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton, the young woman also caused a sensation in 1966 in Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni. Topping the bill and the subject of a cult film by Italian Franco Rubartelli entitled Veruschka (1971), this icon of underground culture in the 60s and 70s returns as voice-over in this journey out of the ordinary in the film by the duo Morrissey- Böhm. A flash-back which covers many themes, the impact of the war on celebrity, from Europe to the USA, from official art to laid-back performances, and which uses a rich source of archives (interviews TV, photos, films, video…).

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(Translated from French)

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