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The Machine That Kills Bad People:
Ruth Beckermann’s Paper Bridge +
Sylvia Schedelbauer’s Way Fare
Institute of Contemporary Arts

This double-bill screening programmed by The Machine That Kills Bad People brings together Ruth Beckermann’s Paper Bridge and Sylvia Schedelbauer’s Way Fare.

Released in 1987, Paper Bridge is a deeply introspective and poignant feature-length film by Ruth Beckermann. Going beyond the confines of traditional documentary filmmaking, it intertwines elements of poetry, narrative storytelling and autobiography. The film takes viewers on a personal exploration of Beckermann’s family history while shedding light on the experiences of Central Europe’s Jewish population and the region itself. From Vienna, where her grandmother sought refuge from the Nazis, to the landscapes of her father’s childhood in the Bukowina, the film uncovers layers of resilience and memory and probes the lasting impact of fascism.

Complementing Paper Bridge is Sylvia Schedelbauer’s short film Way Fare from 2009. Schedelbauer creates a mesmerizing audiovisual experience by weaving together found footage and layered soundscapes. The film invites viewers into a language-less realm, relying on the evocative power of visuals and sound to convey its narrative. Way Fare offers a shifting psychogram, taking audiences on a nomadic journey through spaces that transcend time and dimensions. Through the blurring of past and present, internal visions and external realities, Schedelbauer’s film captivates with its elusive imagery and suggestive storytelling.

Accompanying this screening is a specially commissioned essay by Rebecca Jane Arthur.


Paper Bridge (Die papierene Brücke), dir. Ruth Beckermann, Austria 1987, 95 min., German with English subtitles
Way Fare, dir. Sylvia Schedelbauer, Germany 2009, 6 min. 30 sec., no dialogue
The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

Red Members gain unlimited access to all exhibitions, films, talks, performances and Cinema 3.
Join today for £20/month.

Way Fare, dir. Sylvia Schedelbauer, Germany 2009, 6 min. 30 sec., no dialogue
Rebecca Jane Arthur, The Need for Roots: On Ruth Beckermann’s The Paper Bridge