Gabrielle Pfeiffer / Carl Ludwig Rettinger (Germany/Russia) 52'


If your parents and all photographs of them disappeared, would you still remember their faces after 50 years? In the years that Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, some 20 million people, so-called enemies of the state, were killed or perished in labor camps. To own a photograph of any of these people was itself punishable by death. Families cut loved ones out of group portraits, school children blacked revolutionary heroes out of their history books, and the secret police destroyed whatever was left. When the propaganda machine was done putting a cheerful face on Soviet life, the only true photographic images left of life under Stalin were the police mug shots˜portraits of arrested prisoners. In Facing the Dead, filmmaker Gabrielle Pfeiffer travels through today‚s Russia on a quest for the lost faces of a generation. Her guide is David King, the owner of the London-based David King Collection, a private 250,000 piece Soviet image archive amassed over 35 years of travels in Russia.


Gabrielle Pfeiffer began her career as a script supervisor in New York City on feature films and commercials. She later turned to documentary filmmaking, where she has earned more than twenty writer, producer, director, and associate producer credits for her work on ARTE, Discovery, National Geographic and PBS documentaries. She is currently collaborating with David King on a video installation about gulag victims for the Tate Modern Museum in London. Ms. Pfeiffer‚s most recent project is a romantic comedy screenplay, Alles Samba, produced by Ziegler Film. Ms. Pfeiffer has certificates in filmmaking and advanced filmmaking from the NYU SCE Filmmaking Program, as well as a Master's degree in International Economics from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Previous to working in film and TV, Ms. Pfeiffer served in the UN as an economist and aid worker for seven years in Africa, Europe and the US.

Contact Information:
Carl Ludwig Rettinger
LICHTBLICK Filmproduktion
Apostelnstrasse 11
50667 Cologne, Germany
E-mail: info@lichtblick-film.de
URL: www.lichtblick-film.de

Co-presented with San Francisco Film Society (SFFS)

©2005 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)