JONAS IN THE FIELDS (seen at Metropolis Kino, Filmfest Hamburg)

Finally my narrrow, partly frozen outlook to daily routines was again wide
opened by Peter Sempel`s film. And since then the unanswerable question
about the freedom of man has cheerfully been circling around in my head for
quite a while now.
Beyond doubt I`ve rarely grown aware of someone who conveys so much an
air of freedom as a person as Jonas Mekas, someone incessantly in motion
and never really aged.


Jonas is constantly on the move, even when he pauses, sits, stands nothing
seems to escape these alert, open, bright eyes from the liveliness of this
world and the many perceptions and images of it. It is a pleasure to watch
Jonas walking and looking and to see again and again how he winds up new
links in the perception of the images of this world in a game of his own.
His whole body is often at work and he quietly and unobtrusively keeps
doing unexpected things - sometimes it's just waiting for the other person to
react giving his words uttered space for the ambiguity of words, images and
things. Jonas is poetic in everything, even in everyday dialogues as if he
keeps telling us that nothing is as we think. The images and the meanings are
in flux. Jonas carries what he has seen and has lived in his luggage without
sticking to it.
He toys with the possibilities of interpreting the world, he has the choice and
that makes him rich and lets him transform situations with the ease of
dreaming into something of his own against the rigidity of all obviously
existing. That is freedom.
This freedom has been recognized, has fascinated and inspired many people
around him.
This freedom will still be able to inspire many more people through Peter
Sempel's cinematic tribute to Jonas Mekas.

In the constant movement of the images, the past and the present blur,
places like the housing rows in New York and the green or snow-covered
fields of Lithuania, which merge into images of a life.

What impresses me is that the images in Peter Sempel's film get across this
Jonas Mekas and do not follow any pattern from the cycle of life, but rather
flow, flow and flow. So it is clear that it will go on - howsoever.


Laila Unger