In Harm’s Way
In this affecting portrait, filmmaker Jan Krawitz thinks back on feelings of vulnerability she had as a child, and how those feelings impacted her later, at a pivotal time in her life. Krawitz came of age at a time when talk of the atomic bomb occupied the airwaves and fear of attack came in many forms beyond that, be it the neighbor’s candy or the stranger on the bus. Excerpts from “safety first” films shown in school classrooms during the 1950s and ’60s underscore her words, as she recounts her impressions of events that challenged her feelings of security. Krawitz was headed off into the big, precarious world, but society had prepared her with a rule book—a moral set of instructions on how to act—that would keep her safe. Decades later, those years of upbringing were undone one night by a stranger in an Odessa, Tx., hotel room, when Krawitz survived a violent sexual assault. While she poignantly describes her experience, images of landscapes and machinery illustrate the trauma she endured. Throughout, the visual metaphors are as striking, and moving, as her deeply personal account.
Sadie Tillery, 1998 Festival
Thomas Ott, Ferne Pearlstein, Jan Krawitz, Chris Emmanouildes