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Reconstruction© Paul Bogaert

The best films from the
ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

Here we present you a selection of the best poetry films of the last years of the Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, curated by Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel, film curator, media scholar and artistic director of the festival.

The films will be projected from October 11 to November 30, 2021 - from sunset to midnight - onto screens placed in the store-front windows of the Goethe-Institut Montréal (1626 boul. St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T1).

All films will be shown in the original with English (some with French) subtitles.

The films

Last Day of Republic (Letzter Tag der Republik) © Reynold Reynolds

Last Day of Republic (Letzter Tag der Republik)

Germany | 2009 | 08:57
Director: Reynold Reynolds

In 2008, the Palace of the Republic completely disappeared from the cityscape of Berlin. But can the demolition of a historical building erase cultural memory?

PoemLetzter Tag der Republik by Gerhard Falkner

Beware of the Germans: they unexpectedly pull a poem out of their pocket and start a conversation about philosophy.

Heinrich Heine

Reinventing the Wheel © Elena Knox

Reinventing the Wheel

Australia | 2014 | 03:14
Director: Elena Knox

In a game reminiscent of Wheel of Fortune, a poem plays out on a letterboard. As the doll-like hostess turns over the letters, a surprising message to her audience is revealed.

PoemHigh Heels by Elena Knox

Bacteria © Paul Bogaert, Jan Peeters


Belgium | 2014 | 06:23
Directors: Paul Bogaert, Jan Peeters 

Not all participants at the Congress Centre know where to go. Meanwhile, bacteria and confusion spread in the toilets.

PoemONZEKERHEDEN 12 / Een twee drie emmers… by Paul Bogaert

Bomb Bomb © Arban Severin


Scotland | 2016 | 03:22
Director: Arban Severin

An animated triptych of Mark Dery’s cut-up poems 1979-’82.


A Petty Morning Crime © Asparuh Petrov

A Petty Morning Crime

Bulgaria | 2015 | 04:02
Director: Asparuh Petrov

A second degree murderer that has no guilt nor qualms. 

Poem: A Petty Morning Crime by Georgi Gospodinov

Leerstelle © Urte Zintler

Vacancy (Leerstelle)

Germany | 2016 | 04:30
Director: Urte Zintler

“One must be able to move but also be as still as a tree: as the trees have rooted themselves in the ground, as we stand fixed, despite the landscape pulls away." (Hilde Domin)

PoemsNoch gestern / Wie wenig nütze ich bin / Ziehende Landschaft by Hilde Domin

Ode to Anxiety (Ode all'ansia) © Eduard Escoffet, Gianluca Abbate

Ode to Anxiety (Ode all'ansia)

Italy | 2017 | 00:34
Director: Milena Tipaldo

Ode to Anxiety is an animated exorcism: a short ode is expressed to one of the greatest plagues of our society, anxiety, while she continues to dance on our stomach.

PoemOde to Anxiety by Milena Tipaldo

Trawl © Steve Smart


Scotland | 2020 | 02:06
Director: Steve Smart 

Whoever is having a drop too much today, will feel the overflow of rohypnol and embark on a trip within the ocean of the unconscious. In this experimental movie, images of the ocean sphere plus poetry unify in an almost classical transcendence.

PoemTRAWL by Matthew Caley

Inside the body (Cos Endins) © Eduard Escoffet, Gianluca Abbate

Inside the body (Cos Endins)

Italy | 2019 | 09:00
Director: Eduard Escoffet, Gianluca Abbate

The voice that fills this film takes us to different spaces in Matera, from the tourist centres and city centres to the impregnable space of one’s own body: pleasure
and longing for other bodies that no one can pick up.

PoemCos Endins by Eduard Escoffet

Scary Places/Shapes & Sizes © Pamela Falkenberg, Jack Cochran

Scary Places/Shapes & Sizes

USA | 2020 | 05:59
Directors: Pamela Falkenberg, Jack Cochran

A film based on an erasure poem that works with texts from James Howard Kunstler’s The Geography of Nowhere. An indictment of American car culture and hostile urban environments which come into being when cities are only designed around motorway

PoemThe Geography of Nowhere by Jack Cochran

Reconstruction © Paul Bogaert


Belgium | 2012 | 04:54
Director: Paul Bogaert

Four guards inspect an exhibition room. After the lights flicker off and on, they look younger and can’t believe what they hear.

PoemReconstruction by Paul Bogaert

Speech by the Leader on the Occasion of the Future © Jan Baeke, Alfred Marseille

Speech by the Leader on the Occasion of the Future

Netherlands | 2020 | 07:10
Director: Jan Baeke, Alfred Marseille

Speeches held by heads of state encounter the guerilla tactics of poetry. Banished into the urban outdoor advertising and cut up into slogans, the sentences of the grand seducers lose their charismatic force rather quickly.

PoemSpeech by the Leader on the Occasion of the Future by Jan Baeke

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

at the Goethe-Institut Montreal

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is a project of the haus für Poesie in Berlin and has been around since 2002. It was the first and is the largest international platform for short films based on poetry - the so-called poetry films. It offers poets, film and festival makers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange, brainstorming and meeting with a broad audience. With a competition, film programmes, readings, retrospectives, exhibitions, performances, workshops, colloquia, lectures and a children's programme, it presents the diversity of the genre of poetry film in various sections.

The programme presents a selection of the best poetry films from previous editions of the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. Twelve animations, written and experimental films on personal destinies, social issues and climate change. In the poems, these topics are questioned with emotion, logic but also wit.

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