F., M.: Ella Bergmann-Michel. Prod.: Ella Bergmann-Michel, Paul Seligman. 35mm. L.: 673 m. D.: 37‘ a 16 f/s. Bn.
A reportage on street vendors, almost all unlicensed, during the economic crisis. Some walk around with carts full of vegetables, escaping as soon as the police appear, letting the others know. There is a series of images of a limping newsboy, fairground shows, toy sellers and a merry-go-round operator at work. In this film, Ella Bergmann-Michel combines her particular sensitivity for movement, dynamism, light and shade with compelling social empathy. “The dynamic centre of it all is the large Ferris wheel at the fair, whose enormous iron rods are reminiscent of the wheel spokes of the fruit carts and fairground wagons, creating an effect of abstraction from everyday life and showing the artist’s interest in the connection between nature, society, and technology” (Kristin Vincke).
With the 35mm handheld camera one could film the street vendors in the squares and streets without being seen, some of them with sensationalist promotional acts and others who tried hard to avoid being noticed by policemen, because the wares were for sale without permission. The final sequences were devoted to the vendors who performed at the wholesale market’s fairgrounds. There the political police was already watching me, and I was glad to be able to carry my film reels home untouched.