After 44 years filmmaker Boris Lehman returns to Lausanne, where he was born in 1944. His parents, both Polish Jews, sought refuge in the city during the German occupation. Lehman remembers next to nothing of the episode. A film like a time machine.
After 44 years, film director Boris Lehman returns to Lausanne, the city where he was born on the 3rd of March 1944, at the end of the war. He only lived in Lausanne for a year. His parents were Jews who had sought refuge in Belgium when the Nazis seized power in Poland. Forced to flee from Belgium during the German occupation, they reached neutral Switzerland after a clandestine journey through France. Boris Lehman has no memory of the episode at all. His parents are dead, all witnesses have disappeared. Armed only with a few documents and photographs found in a cardboard box, he wanders through Lausanne, searching here and there for some signs that would indicate his presence, his early life, gathering as it were the evidence of his very existence. But the city remains silent and distant. Meetings will usher in stories, irresistibly leading Boris to deal directly or indirectly with the subject of his birth, indissolubly linked with the lake whose French name ‘Léman’ so resembles his own.
“In making films, I am seeking to exist, to make myself loved. I need a camera to be able to see, meet people, to talk to them, enter their space, enter in a relationship. The camera gives me this power"
“If I don’t film, I don’t see anything, I don’t remember anything, neither trees nor faces. If I film them, I can forget them. My film is my memory, a catalogue of facts and gestures, a (very incomplete) inventory of my life.”
“My films are like fables, and reality is their backdrop. They imitate the simple form of a diary, they are autobiographical, since they often deal with a quest for identity and a search for origins, and I often appear in them as a subject and as a character.”