Robert Kramer Retrospective [1995]

Walk the Walk

- 1995 / France, Switzerland / French, Others / Color / 115 min / 35mm

Script, Photography, Editing: Robert Kramer
Photography: Richard Copans, Katell Dijan, Blaise Bauquis
Editing: Christine Benoit, Beatrice Wick, Keja Kramer
Music: Barre Phillips
Sound: Olivier Schwob, Bernard Seidler
Producers: Ruth Waldburger, Pierre-Alain Schatzmann
Cast: Jacques Martial, Laure Duthilleul, Betsabee Haas, and others
Production Companies: Avventura Films, Vega Films, Télévision Suisse
Source: Vega Films

Nellie, Abel, and their daughter Raye live near a lighthouse deep in the countryside. The mother is white. She is a microbiologist who is examining the algae of the salt marshes. The father is black. He was a famous athlete, then a coach. Now he runs along the paths by the marshes. Their “mixed-race” daughter is a singer. One day the family balance is broken when Raye leaves. It does not matter where one is going. “If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk.” A bit later, her father leaves too, taking a ship to Odessa. Nellie remains by herself. Without going anywhere, she too has a personal trip to take.

-- “The origin of this film was when my daughter who was 16 or 17 at the time decided to leave to see the world without having a plan. Perhaps I was becoming older, perhaps I was a father, or perhaps because the world had changed so much—I was frightened for her, in this wild and violent world. It opened a whole conversation between me and Erika about what our attitude was; has the world changed? Or we’ve changed? And we agreed that she has the right to go. In order to know about the world that we are living, we have to take risks.”

—Robert Kramer, Tokyo, November 1997

• Robert Kramer Retrospective | FALN | In the Country | The Edge | Ice | People’s War | Milestones | Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal | Guns | A Great Day in France / Birth | As Fast as You Can | Fear | Doc’s Kingdom | Route One / USA | Dear Doc | Berlin 10/90 | Video Letters: Robert Kramer and Stephen Dwoskin | Leeward | Point de départ / Starting Place | Walk the Walk | The Coat | Ghosts of Electricity | SayKomSa | Cities of the Plain | Against Forgetting