Browse films

Once I Passed

Martin Gerigk
Germany, 2022, 10 min.

In English with English subtitles.

In 1925, the original handwritten copy of Walt Whitman´s poem "Once I Passed Through a Populous City" was discovered, in which he writes about an affair with a man. But Whitman did not dare to publish the original version of his poem during his lifetime. The film pays tribute to the autobiographical context, the profoundly quiet, yet powerful story of two lovers.

Director's Statement

I came across the original version by chance many years ago. I was touched by the unexpected turn of this love story, but also depressed by the tragic self-censorship. I was cautious about creating a film from the text. I hesitated for many years before working on it. Whitman circles around the inescapable affection of the two lovers. The depth and intensity of their love are not revealed in direct descriptions, but only through the approaching loss of this love. A recurring awareness tears the viewer apart emotionally, and yet, only through this, frees its inner beauty and truth.