TALKS Werke & Tage “I'm from Danzig…”
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“I'm from Danzig…”

Film series Translating. Work and Days

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Übersetzen. Werke und Tage: Thomas Reschke

Thomas Reschke, born in 1932, experienced the beginning of the Second World War aged seven and its end aged thirteen. In 1945 he fled his home city of Gdansk and began studying Slavic studies in war-torn Berlin. In 1955 the state assigned him the job of editor at the publishing house “Kultur und Fortschritt”. As part of an “ideological leading company”, Thomas Reschke soon learned the value and the limits of freedom as it could be experienced in the workers’ and farmers’ state of the GDR. After the merger with “Volk und Welt” in 1964, Reschke worked in this leading GDR publishing house as an editor for almost 35 years. In 1956 he began translating. Since then he has become one of the most renowned translators from Russian into German. After reunification, he established himself as a freelancer, partly together with his wife Renate. He has translated, amongst others, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ilya Ilf & Yevgeny Petrov and Mikhail Shoshchenko.

Filmstill: Thomas Reschke

The series Translating. Work and Days portrays ten translators of different generations who talk about their lives and their work. All of them translate into German from Slavic languages. In the 9 films, Ganna-Maria Braungardt, Claudia Dathe, Christiane Körner, Gabriele Leupold, Aljonna Möckel, Thomas Reschke, Rosemarie Tietze, Thomas Weiler, as well as the duo Günter Hirt & Sascha Wonders alias Sabine Hänsgen and Georg Witte, all speak to us. Their accounts of origins, encounters, discoveries, and experiences are set against the backdrop of photographic documents. Personal histories are told against the background of greater history. The series was in the process of being made when Russia began its large scale invasion of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022. Thus the last intermediate chapter in the films came into being: The War.


Idea, Director, Producer: Anna Shibarova
Camera, Sound and Editing: Elizaveta Snagovskaia
English subtitles: David Drevs, James Cohen

The series “Translating. Work and Days” was funded by the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds through the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media’s NEUSTART KULTUR programme. The video-portraits will be published at regular intervals from July 2023.

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