Todtnauberg deals with the “epoch making encounter” between the Jewish poet Paul Celan and the German philosopher Martin Heidegger at Heidegger’s Black Forest retreat in Todtnauberg on July 25, 1967. At the time Neo-Nazism was on the rise in Germany. The two met shortly after Heidegger had given a Der Spiegel interview entitled Only a God can save us now, which he had undertaken on condition of posthumous publication. In the interview he refused to admit any liability for his membership of the Nazi Party from 1933-1945, defending his time as Rector of the University of Freiburg from 1933-1934. Celan lost his parents and other family members in the extermination camps. He refused to be publically associated with Heidegger but met with him, it is speculated, hoping that he would account for his collaboration. Celan accompanied Heidegger on a walk in the surrounding woods and impressed Heidegger with his knowledge of botany and philosophy, while Heidegger spoke of his hopes for Germany. Celan wrote a poem entitled Todtnauberg immediately following the visit.

Project DirectorDennis Del Favero

Project Funding: Australia Council for the Arts


Single Channel DVD Video 4 minutes BW Stereo

  • Film Cologne (for Art Cologne), Cologne, 2014
  • John Curtin Gallery, Perth, 2012
  • University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, 2011
  • Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, 2010

Producer, Director and Designer: Dennis Del Favero

Writer: Stephen Sewell

Composer: Kate Moore

Sound Designers: Tony MacGregor and Dennis Del Favero

Sound Engineer: Mark Don

Stylist and Designer: Karla Urizar

Voice-overs: Celan: Rhys Muldoon; Heidegger: Rhys McConnochie

Actors: Celan: Adam Hatz; Heidegger: Don Flanagan

Produced by the iCinema, Centre for Interactive Cinema Research,
University of New South Wales, Sydney

Co-Produced in association with Radio Eye, ABC Radio National

Assisted by the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney.