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LILIANE LIJN Look A Doll! My Mother's Story Film Screening

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Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre

Summerhall Place

Edinburgh

EH9 1QE

United Kingdom

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LILIANE LIJN Look A Doll! My Mother's Story

Film Screening

Curated by Gabriella Daris


My parents belonged to a generation of Jews who faced extermination. Through their stories, as in a cracked and tarnished mirror, I see myself reflected as if I were formed before my birth by the choices, which they made. – Liliane Lijn


Liliane Lijn’s film, Look A Doll! My Mother’s Story (1994-99) is screened in conjunction with the exhibition Liliane Lijn: Early Events: Five Narrative Sculptures, and in response to Edinburgh Festival’s theme “to heal the wounds of war.” The film screening aims at extending the dialogue between generations and especially between mother and daughter, as an enactment of oral tradition and memory.

By exploring her mother’s childhood in Russia and Poland, Lijn evokes in intimate and moving detail the history of a Jewish woman who lived through the panic years preceding the 2nd World War and the excruciating reality of family life for the survivors of the Holocaust. Using interviews, photomontage and archive film clips, Look A Doll! My Mother’s Story is a film essentially about forced exodus, the restlessness of the rootless, those who have lost everything, even and most painfully their past.

Following a dream, in which she saw her mother fall from their collapsing home, Lijn had started to interview her on tape in 1994. ‘I have lost everything,’ she thought either during or just after the dream, ‘even my name’ and she renamed herself Sylvana Bismark. This, Lijn then decided, was to be the title of her autobiography. When she began to write, she realised she knew very little about her origins or her parents. From this belated interest came the limited edition, hand-bound and self-published, Her Mother’s Voice (1996-98), and having completed that artist’s book, Lijn wanted to see what would happen if she were to film her mother and ask her to tell the same story…

62’, colour, digital image presentation

Made with the support of London Film and Development Agency

Image credits: Liliane Lijn’s mother Helena as a small child in Moscow circa 1918. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of Liliane Lijn.

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Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre

Summerhall Place

Edinburgh

EH9 1QE

United Kingdom

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