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The Last Happy Day

with 4 Short Films by Lynne Sachs

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The Last Happy Day


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The Last Happy Day is an experimental documentary portrait of Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of filmmaker Lynne Sachs. In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to a safe haven in Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired Lenard to reconstruct the bones -- small and large -- of dead American soldiers. Eventually he found himself in remotest Brazil where he embarked on the translation of “Winnie the Pooh” into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief world-wide fame. Sachs' essay film uses personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children's performance to create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.

Georgic for a Forgotten Planet
11 min. 2008, directed by Lynne Sachs, 00:11:00
“I began reading Virgil’s Georgics, a 1st Century epic agricultural poem, and knew immediately that I needed to create a visual equivalent about my own relationship to the place where I live, New York City. The film is culled from material I collected in Coney Island, the Lower East Side, Socrates Sculpture Garden in Queens, a Brooklyn community garden and a place on Staten Island that is so dark you can see the three moons of Jupiter. It is a homage to a place many people affectionately and mysteriously call the big apple. “ (LS)

Other films in Compilation:
Cuadro por cuadro
(Frame by Frame)
by Lynne Sachs and Mark Street, 8 min. 2009
In “Cuadro por cuadro”, Lynne Sachs and Mark Street put on a workshop (taller in Spanish) with a group of Uruguayan media artists in Montevideo. Together, the group creates hand-painted experimental films in the spirit of Stan Brakhage. They paint on 16 and 35 mm film, then bleach it and hang it to dry on the roof of the Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo.

The Task of the Translator
10 min., 2010
Sachs celebrates Walter Benjamin's essay "The Task of the Translator" through three studies of language and the human body.

Sound of a Shadow
10 min. Super 8, 2011 by Mark Street and Lynne Sachs
A wabi sabi summer in Japan – observing that which is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete– produces a series of visual haiku in search of teeming street life, bodies in emotion, and leaf prints in the mud.

"Sachs’ films are searching, inquisitive projects — quests of discovery (and self-discovery) that yield facts and insights that become even more meaningful when they are shared with audiences as art." -  John Beifus, Mwmphia Commercial Appeal

"Exquisite...Sachs reclaims (Lenard’s) dignity and purpose using letters, newsreel footage, and recreations of his environment as if to channel him back from the past." - Todd Lillethun, Chicago Filmmakers

"A fascinating, unconventional approach to a Holocaust-related story ... a frequently charming work that makes no effort to disguise an underlying melancholy." - George Robinson, The Jewish Week

"A stunning essay film. Sachs uses this story as a lens for her meditation on trauma, survival, history and healing." - David Finkelstein, Filmthreat.com

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