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Woman With the 5 Elephants

Woman With The 5 Elephants is a captivating film from Swiss director Vadim Jendreyko which follows the amazing life of an 87 year old translator, Svetlana Geier.

Originally from the Ukraine, Geier left Europe during WWII and now lives in Germany, where she continues to painstakingly translate the Russian classics into German.

The five elephants she's conquered: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Devils, A Raw Youth, and The Brothers Karamasov.

Beautifully shot, Jendreyko's documentary is a brilliant insight into the extraordinary life of a fascinating and intelligent woman.

It is a moving look at the journey that took this amazing woman from the Ukraine to Germany, and back again. The insights from Geier  are unforgettable. 

“Why do people translate? It's the yearning for something that keeps escaping, for the unrivalled original, for the final, the essential.”

“An onion has no centre. When one cuts through an onion one does not find a central point. The onion has an objective. The objective of an onion is the new onion. This is basically where the idea begins. In Dostoyevsky's novels there is always a cadence, the story within the story that is not directly associated with the plot, but which, like an onion within an onion, is in fact the core of the whole thing.” Svetlana Geier.    


Woman With the 5 Elephants is showing at the Vancity Theatre from Nov 26 to Dec 2. Check Vancity for showtimes and tickets.

Go to Woman With the 5 Elephants to purchase a DVD of this extraordinary film.

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