The Alphabet of Fear

Music & Arts
art, Herta Müller, novel, poem
John Albert Jansen
VPRO & Oogland Filmproducties
HD available

A documentary about the Rumanian-German Nobel Prize Laureate Herta Müller: her collages, her traumas and her fears.

The Rumanian-German poet Herta Müller (1953) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009. Müller’s parents were German speaking Rumanians. Her father served in the German SS during World War ii, and her mother was imprisoned in a Sovjet working camp after the war. Her own studies and adult life were overshadowed by the repression of the Ceausescu regime and the continuous harassment of the Securitate. The fears and traumas resulting from those experiences largely continue to dominate her life
When Herta Müller is not working on a novel, she composes so-called ‘collage poems’. The bewilderment and fear that characterize her prose also pervade her poetry.
The Alphabet of Fear is a quest for the roots of her work, the mortal fear and the thirst for life that pervade all her writings. It is a film about living in fear, with literature as a sole weapon.