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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Andrew Hallenberg at 2:10AM
Reversing Oblivion title

Blog posting written by Andrew Hallenberg, Film, Photography, & Visual Arts (BFA), Honors, '20, FLEFF Blogging Intern, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.


How do you rediscover family history that seems lost forever?

For the audience of Reversing Oblivion, it comes in the form of discovering a lost estate, and the family who owned it.

Last week, I had the most wonderful opportunity to speak with Phil Wilder, the cinematographer and co-creator of Reversing Oblivion. Philip also acts as the Co-President of Insight International, INC. A professional independent video production company that has been creating educational non-fiction videos since 1971.

Philip Wilde is the cinematographer of Reversing Oblivion, a documentary about trying to find identity. The documentary follows Philip and his wife, Ann Wilde (who as well acts as the Co-President for Insight International INC.) as they investigate Ann’s grandmother’s past amid the Holocaust, and an estate in Poland.

“It’s about finding existence,” Philip said.

Philip and Ann both worked closely on Reversing Oblivion from the beginning. Reversing Oblivion’s origins began as a radio show for German radio company that Ann and Phil worked at. Originally, the concept for Reversing Oblivion was a radio show, but when that wasn’t enough to support what was now a complex story, Philip started filming.

Reversing Oblivion premiered in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin and Brandenburg Jewish Film Festival, and to the world in Cottbus, Germany at the Cottbus Eastern European Film Festival.

Philip is excited to bring Reversing Oblivion to FLEFF ‘18 because of Ithaca’s intellectual audience.

“Ithaca’s a smart town, it’s a really perfect place to show it. [Reversing Oblivion.]”

Philip says that FLEFF encapsulates the idea of non-preconception. This holds true especially for year's theme. For FLEFF '18, audiences will know nothing about the geographies they're stepping into. One day they're investigating the family history of an estate in Poland, the next day they're exploring uncharted Antarctic land.

“[pre-nociception is] walking into a room and not have an idea that you know all about the subject before you get there.”

For Reversing Oblivion, the audience is asked to step into the shoes of someone who’s past remained a mystery for the first thirty years of their life.

For Philip and Ann Wilder, the practice of filmmaking and radio has allowed them to rediscover family history that seemed lost forever.

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