If you are a poetry film fan, this year’s ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival between October 27th and 30th in Münster, Germany should be on your list. In case you live abroad, October should give you plenty of time to plan your trip, book a flight, and persuade your best friend to travel to Germany in October/November. Believe me, fall in Germany with 5 lb. chestnuts dropping on your head and rain hitting your face at 80 km an hour makes it the perfect place to visit. Poetry makes it all the better.
For the past 14 years, the festival has been held in Berlin at the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin/Haus für Poesie—a fitting location, considering Berlin’s large community of poets and filmmakers. Due to the positive resonance ever since, the festival organizers decided to move the festival to Münster in order to attract a larger audience outside of the capital.
Poetry films, belonging to a genre that has been around for quite a while, have probably enjoyed the most attention in recent years through the hard work of organizations such as the ZEBRA Poetry Festival and Moving Poems. For people who are not generally drawn to poetry, poetry films might be worth indulging in, since words are not the sole focus and interpretation takes a backseat while experience takes over. Imagine sitting in a large movie theater listening to Sylvia Plath’s reading of “Daddy.” Does her voice give you goosebumps? Now imagine the whole thing coupled with images of hooves and cobblestones. Did your heart start pounding? If not, try again by watching a poetry film.
At this point, I have to admit that I myself haven’t been able to attend the festival and have had to watch the films on my small screen, but this year the festival in Münster is on my to-do list.
For all the fans and potential fans I am including a link to a piece on the genre of poetry films, which was published on the Slope Editions tumblr in December 2014.