Martina Kudlácek • Austria, Switzerland, Germany • 2002 • A portrait of a groundbreaking artist.
Maya Deren is considered by many to be the most innovative avant-garde filmmaker in the history of American cinema. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Deren’s family fled the USSR in 1922 to escape anti-Semitic pogroms. They settled in Syracuse, New York, where Deren attended university before moving to Greenwich Village, where her social circle was populated with fellow European émigrés including Marcel Duchamp, André Breton and Anaïs Nin. Revolting against the Hollywood studio system, Deren’s low-budget black-and-white films—including the groundbreaking Meshes of the Afternoon—expanded the form beyond a mere vehicle for plot and hegemony.
Delving into Deren’s singular cinematic world, In the Mirror of Maya Deren portrays not only the famed Troyskyist and feminist icon of experimental cinema, but the process behind her work. Martina Kudlácek’s third documentary premiered at Stockholm, Karlovy Vary, Rotterdam and Vienna, where it won the Vienna Film Award.