Three Films by Lynne Sachs at Anthology Film Archives Sept. 24 & 25

Three Films by Lynne Sachs (Friday and Saturday) This review of recent work by one of the leading New York independent filmmakers includes the local premiere of “Wind in Our Hair,” a 41-minute video, made in Argentina with the collaboration of Leandro Listorti and Pablo Marin, that explores the world of four teenage girls, both as they imagine it and as it exists within the restraints of social reality.


“The Last Happy Day” is a stunningly beautiful essay film by Lynne Sachs, in which she uses the remarkable story of her distant cousin Sandor Lenard, a Jewish Hungarian doctor who survives two world wars, as a lens for her meditations on trauma, survival, history, and healing.

“The Worlds Lynne Sachs Calls Home” by Susan Gerhard

The films of Lynne Sachs travel to exotic places, but find themselves concerned primarily with the universal qualities of the everyday. They revisit war zones but refuse to foreground the idea of War as humanity’s most fascinating pursuit. They are experimental in nature yet can offer straightforward and earnest approaches to literal problems. They defy expectations for radical art.

Letter from Bill Nichols on Investigation of a Flame

Events like the one you reexamine flickered past on the limited news that reached my remote village. Their function on an ethical plane of giving witness to an alternative view of community and relationships was not lost on me, not after having followed King’s efforts in some detail. But this had to be filtered out from the general hysteria, scapegoating and demonizing. I never had access to the interiority of the event, certainly not with the density and complexity that you are now able to offer.

“Wind in Our Hair” Emphasizes Art over Action by Christine Dickason

As the lights came back on in the theater, I sat in my seat, trying to absorb everything that had played on the screen over the last 40 minutes. The camera angles, the plot (or lack thereof), the Spanish words combined with English narration…it was all too much. As I walked out of the movie theater, I felt a sense of disappointment. Why had I sat through that? I had just seen my first “art film,” and I had been completely unprepared for it.

Abecedarium NYC in Film Comment Magazine June 2010

Inspired by her children’s ubiquitous ABC picture books, not to mention the traditions of avant-garde alphabetizing, experimental mainstay Lynne Sachs concocted Abecedarium: NYC, an exquisite online corpse of cinematic cartography.

“Between Yes and No: An Interview with Lynne Sachs” by Kathy Geritz

What initially drew you to working with film?

All my life I’ve been working in the arts. I drew, took pictures and wrote poetry a lot as a kid. Later, when I was a teenager, I got very excited and disturbed by a number of issues—particularly the reinstatement of the draft and abortion rights. I realized, “There’s this part of me that cares about social and political situations; but, I’ll still need to keep this other part that is about my more private self, the part that wants to play with images and words, exploring the everyday.”

“Searching: Lynne Sachs’ Cinema” by Lucas Hilderbrand

If I had to choose a single word to encapsulate Lynne Sachs’ cinema, it would be “searching.” Her work is marked by a mode of inquiry, of seeking out connections, of investigation. What is she looking for? Meaning, maybe. But more so, historical consciousness, an ethical way of being in the world, a politics of humanity. I’ve known her to get on a plane to move a film project forward, unsure what she will find when she lands or where the project is going. It seems every time we talk and check in, she’s been someplace else, at work on yet another project. She is indefatigable in her search, and she has been extraordinarily prolific.

Last Happy Day — Lynne Sachs Director’s Statement

“In 2009, I completed The Last Happy Day, a film that uses both real and imagined stories about Sandor Lenard, a distant cousin of mine and a Hungarian medical doctor. (See text above for description). Several years ago I traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil to film Sandor’s eighty-five year old wife, Andrietta. She described in vivid, almost dreamy, detail her husband’s macabre work. I listened to her recount his daily contact with the detritus of war, wondering to myself why we so rarely think about who is responsible for “cleaning up” the dead. Later in the film, Andrietta’s graphic, realistic recollections stir visual ruminations on this futile act of posthumous, cosmetic surgery.

“Wind in Our Hair Blows Down Walls” in Memphis Commercial Appeal

Con Viento en Pelo begins and ends with the approaching rumble of a train engine. For the young protagonists of the film, the train represents both a source of freedom and an interjection of cold, adult reality into their innocent, sheltered existence. This film forgoes a traditional narrative in favor of an exploration of the sensations that accompany the burgeoning adolescence of four Argentinean girls. This causes the film to unfold as a documentary of emotions, so to speak, rather than a conventional movie. Director Lynne Sachs is far more concerned with capturing textures, sounds, and feelings, the ingredients of memories, than action or dialogue. For example, in an early scene, Sachs juxtaposes a soft-focused close-up of a fluffy, wet dog with the cold, austere barbed wire fences of the Buenos Aires slums.