TALKS Werke & Tage “He never came back from Russia…”
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“He never came back from Russia…”

Film Series Translating. Work and Days.

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Übersetzen. Werke und Tage: Rosemarie Tietze

Rosemarie Tietze, born in 1944 in the Black Forest, didn't know her father – “he never came back from Russia”, went missing in action during the war. That is likely the biographical reason why she dedicated herself to Russian, says Rosemarie Tietze. In 1969, she travelled to Moscow for the first time for a longer period and met people who helped her discover this fascinating new world. Her desire to convey this world grew quickly, but she had to fight for a long time before the authors so close to her heart could be published in her translation. This had not least to do with the Cold War and the divided Germany. The most important contemporary author for Rosemarie Tietze is Andrei Bitov, whose work she introduced to the German public. We can also read Tolstoy and Pushkin today in her retranslations. In addition to her work as a literary translator, Tietze was an early advocate for the guild. That the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds (German Tranlators' Fund) exists today is largely due to her initiative and commitment.

Filmstill: Rosemarie Tietze

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 ©2023

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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