Drawing Against Oblivion (Zeichnen gegen das Vergessen)

Austrian painter and photographer Manfred Bockelmann, was born 70 years ago in 1943, a time when millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of children, were killed. Contemplating his 70th birthday, Manfred Bockelmann made a resolution: he will strive to keep the memory of children and adolescents that died in the concentration camps alive. He started drawing their portraits and in doing so realized that he had set himself up for a task that would occupy him for the rest of his life. With every finished portrait, he claims, he adds 'faces to the number, brings people to life out of the anonymity of statistics'. Bockelmann will continue drawing these portraits for as long as he can: Drawing to keep memory alive, drawing against oblivion.

Original title:
Zeichnen gegen das Vergessen
64 minutes
Barbel Jacks

Shown at

  1. 28th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  2. JewishFilm - 2016
  3. Jüdisches Filmfestival Wien - 2015
  4. Washington Jewish Film Festival - 2016

1 Response

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    Memories of the Holocaust in ‘Drawing Against Oblivion’

    As the Holocaust slowly recedes from memory, so too have the films about it shifted their focus.

    This year, Laszlo Nemes’ Cannes Grand Prix winner “Son of Saul” follows a concentration camp trustie who seeks a rabbi to give his son a proper burial in secret. And the documentary “Drawing Against Oblivion,” which screened here at Camerimage, also puts children at its center, tracing the career of Austrian artist Manfred Bockelmann as he tries to capture, in charcoal drawings, the faces of children who perished in the death camps.


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