The Sparrow Dream

16mm, color, sound
29 minutes


My starting point was a question about how the places where I have lived have influenced how I see.

I returned to one or two locations in Berlin that I had filmed for Diminished Frame in 1970. One was the milestone opposite Schloss Charlottenburg. In 1970, the milestone stood as a somber sphere topped by a Prussian spike, filmed in black and white; now I see it as a golden globe surrounded by regenerate leaves with a view to Fortuna. I also found the  statue that I had filmed in Brooklyn in 2002 standing in Leopoldplatz, Wedding.

Filming in Berlin and Massachusetts: The turning pages of a child’s version of the Odyssey and the site of a Korean War monument in my hometown, Weymouth, suggest different sides of the same subject: Nostos* or homecoming. The vision of Greece, first awakened in my childhood, remains a source. Despite different histories, one culture reflects another:

“Why have I returned to film these places, which I left so many years ago?”
“For the deep view it gives now.”

Each morning in Berlin, I remove the ashes from the ceramic oven in my room before lighting the new coals; each time I look at the new flames a different thought arises. It seems that there is an infinite number of qualities in fire.

R.B. August, 2022