Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Kleist File / Die Akte Kleist (2010)

(52/43 min.) Directed by Torsten Striegnitz, written by Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte & Torsten Striegnitz, produced by Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Berlin, in coproduction with rbb and cooperation with ARTE, funded by the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg.
In 2009, I translated the original treatment, synopsis, and storyboards to this documentary film starring Meret Becker (of Killer Condom / Kondom des Grauens [1996 / trailer] and Wetlands Feuchtgebiete  [2013 / trailer]) and Alexander Beyer (of Sun Alley / Sonnenallee [1999 / trailer] and Good Bye Lenin! [2003 / trailer]).
The documentary, as explained in the press release: "Potsdam, the 21st of November, 1811. [...] Early in the morning, Henriette Vogel had herself dressed in a white dress with cambric lace. Then [she and Kleist] went for a walk in the forest, hand in hand. Now, at the side of the lake, they have ordered coffee and are playfully relaxing like two infatuated children. A few seconds later, two gunshots ring out: The first bullet hits her directly in the heart, the second one hits Kleist directly in the head. A short time later, the two bodies are found by the Prussian police in a sand hollow close to the lakeshore. In the minutes of the investigating officers, it is noted that no weapons were found at the crime scene. [...] What exactly happened at the Lesser Wannsee lake? Why did one of the greatest German dramatists have to die a violent death at the age of 34? The police reports made at the historical crime scene reveal when the couple arrived at the inn, what they ate in their last hours, and even how much the saw cost that broke on Kleist's skull during the autopsy. But all the available details do not answer the question: Why did Kleist have to die? Is the death the result of an adventurous biography, or does it actually present the key to understanding the brilliancy of his work? [...] We start, after 200 years, by re-opening the file. Was Kleist shot by someone? Or did he shoot himself? On the basis of the Prussian protocols we reconstruct the crime scene; we return to the original location and, with the assistance of actors, we recreate the possible sequence of events — in all possible variations. Was Kleist the victim or perpetrator? Was it a political intrigue, a relationship drama, or an act of desperation?"
Watch the documentary and find out.

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