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Bickels [Socialism]

BICKELS [SOCIALISM] (Bickels [Socialism]) Heinz Emigholz , D/ISR 2015-17, 92 min

Streetscapes – Chapter II / Photography and beyond – Part 25 / Architecture as Autobiography / Samuel Bickels (1909–1975)

From November 30th on DVD - includes a Bonus-Disc with  3 film talks with Heinz Emigholz in Afula, Israel, Berlin and São Paulo, Brazil! - English or with English subtitles

World premiere: Sunday, Feb 12th, 2017: 14:00 h at Akademie der Künste
Second screening: Saturday, Feb 18th: 13:45 h at CineStar 8

Official Trailer


“BICKELS [SOCIALISM] deals with sediments of the 20th century. Bickels buildings are the heart of an idea, an interaction, social and cultural. His architecture reflects a will to create a civilization.” (Galia Bar Or)

“BICKELS [SOCIALISM] is a very strong film, a kind of hygiene of the eye. Our gaze seems to change over the course of the film. We begin by observing the differences. Then we begin noting the similarities. Then we lose ourselves. Then we get tired of the repetition of things. Then we get used to this repetition and grow more sensitive to even subtle variations …” (Benjamin Seroussi, Casa do Povo)

About the film

22 buildings by the Kibbutz architect Samuel Bickels, filmed in Israel in 2015.
As prologue, the Casa do Povo in São Paulo, as appendix, The Story of Vio Nova.

Shooting on the film Bickels [Socialism] took place in Israel from 14 to 28 May 2015 and on 2 January 2016, and in São Paulo from 30 October to 1 November 2016.

The film shows the following buildings:

Prologue (São Paulo):
Casa do Povo
(1953) – Jewish Community Center built by Ernst Mange, Theater by Jorge Wilhelm

Feature Film (Bauten von Samuel Bickels in Israel):
Mishkan Museum of Art
(1948), Ein Harod
Barn
(1948), Ein Hashofet
Trumpldor House
(1949), Tel Yoseph
Ghetto Fighter’s House Museum
(1953), Lochamei Hagetaot
Sport House
(1955), Beit Hashita
Sport House
(1955), Sarid
Borchov House
(1957), Mishmar Hanegev
Positioning of Residence Houses
(1957), Revivim
Dining Hall
(1958), Ein Harod
Bendori House
(1959), Givat Hashlosha
Cultural House
(1961), Mashabe Sade
Dining Hall
(1961), Sde Nachum 
Kolin House
(1962), Neve Eitan
Members' Club
(1965), Beit Oren 
Guest House Dining Hall
(1965), Beit Oren
Brand House
(1965), Efal
Bnei Brit House
(1966), Moledet
The Sons House
(1966), Shfayim
Beit Ziesling
(1969), Ein Harod Meuhad
Miriam House Museum
(1969), Palmachim
Dining Hall
(1970), Efal
Beit Golomb
(1957), Golda Center (1976), Revivim

Appendix (Ein Harod)
The Story of Vio Nova
– With paintings by Meir Axelrod

Samuel Bickels

Samuel Bickels was born in Lwów (Lemberg) in Galicia in 1909, in a home that fostered education and high culture. He completed his studies in architecture and engineering at the Polytechnic in Lwów (1928–1931), and then set out for Paris for six months of courses that did not include formal studies. In 1933 he married Clara Project, who was studying for a Physics master’s degree, and migrated with her to Eretz-Israel. His parents, his brothers and most of his family perished in the Holocaust. He was a member of Kibbutz Tel Yosef from the late ’30s, and from 1951 until his death in 1975 he was a member of Kibbutz Beit Hashita.
From the ’50s on he worked in a team with his wife Clara, who assisted him in planning and engaged in drawing plans until her death in 1969. Bickels devoted his energies to planning, and expressed his artistic sensitivity in the emphases of the planning: in the acoustic quality in the concert halls and in the appropriate display space (proportions and lighting) in the museum building.
It is only in recent years that Bickels’ extensive and distinctive architectural work has gained recognition among the professional architectural circles in Israel. Bickels was systematically absent from the Technion’s discussions on kibbutz architecture. He did not participate, for example, in the symposium on “The Planning of a Kibbutz Point” conducted by the Technion’s department of training and further studies in 1958. The architect Abba Elhanani, who was a lecturer at the Technion and the editor of the periodical Tvai, does not mention Bickels in his book Israel Architecture’s Struggle for Independence in the 20th Century (1998). Bickels’ name is also absent from the index of this comprehensive book, which includes scores of Israeli architects.
It would seem that this ignoring of Samuel Bickels in the Israeli architectural discourse attests more than anything to an ign