Concrete Love- The Böhm Family
Switzerland, 2014, 87 min., Color, German with English subtitles
The film plays Tuesday 4/14 at 5pm as part of the Dallas International Film Fest - International Spotlight: Germany. Tix and information is available at dallasfilm.org
Matt Mungle - @themungle
Concrete Love- The Böhm Family shines a light on one of Germany's most highly regarded architects, Gottfried Böhm. This documentary gives a very personal and private look at his work, family, and passions. He talks about the history for architecture and we see through his creations an evolution of style. Though in his nineties he is still as sharp and steady handed as ever. It is impressive to watch him work even now in his later years.
His three sons Stephan, Peter and Paul have carried on the family business and the film also shows the struggle they face in this modern world. As the competition gets tougher it becomes harder and harder to win job bids. They all look to their father for guidance and encouragement while also creating a name for themselves.
During the filming of the Documentary Gottfried's beloved wife Elisabeth Böhm passed away. This allows us the viewer the humbling opportunity to hear him talk about what an inspiration she was. Her passion for art and her family made her a positive force in their success. We see how over the years Gottfried's creations all have a bit of her in them.
The film is also visually appealing in the way it offers a glimpse at the buildings the Böhm family have created. The history of what structures survived the wars in Germany and resurfaced afterwards is interesting and beautiful to see. We get this tour all through the lens of the great Gottfried.
At the same time the film is about the sons too. They each speak of the parents in different ways. You see the effects of all this in their work. The Doc is full of rare family photos and home movies. Many rarely seen before. It is truly a wonderful portrait of a man who left his name in the buildings he created.