Ella Bergmann-Michel

Scen.: Mart Stam, Ella Bergmann-Michel. F., M.: Ella Bergmann-Michel. Prod.: Ella Bergmann-Michel su commissione di Mart Stam. 35mm. L.: 236 m (l. orig.: 240 m). D.: 13‘ a 16 f/s. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In 1929-1930, the Henry and Emma Budge-Stiftung foundation, established by the eponymous Jewish husband and wife, commissioned Dutch architect Mart Stam to design a home for the elderly. He asked Bergmann-Michel to make a short film, which was her first. Filmed using a tripod and hand-cranked camera, it is a eulogy to modernist architecture, light, air and sun. No longer chaotic, but calm, green and with single rooms. The flexibility of the spaces is rendered with simple special effects. Ella Bergmann-Michel highlights the expressive nature of the new building, emphasizing the huge entrance and open common areas flooded with light. In the final scene, the guests, looking out from a long row of balconies, greet the camera with happy smiles. Together with other films, this short was part of the Neues Bauen – Neues Wohnen [New Architecture – New Housing] programme.

Madeleine Bernstorff


This building had large pleasant, sun-lit rooms. It had been finished in 1929 and was, according to Frankfurt standards, very modern, offering all the amenities that old people might need. Thus the home for the  elderly was filmed, showing their well-being. The floor plan of the building and the variability of some of the rooms were animated through special effects using drawings.

Ella Bergmann-Michel

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Courtesy of Sünke Michel