And There Was Fire in the Center of the Earth

And There Was Fire in the Center of the Earth

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Born in 1912 in Prague, Vera Kohn escaped Czechoslovakia a few months after Nazi Germany had invaded her country. In 1939 she made her way with her family to Ecuador where many Jews found refuge. Here she began a new life. After a career as a leading actress in Quito, she traveled to Europe because of a severe mental crisis to undergo psychotherapy with German Gestalt therapist Karlfried Dürckheim. After three years of studying Dürckheim's “Initiative Therapy” Vera returned to Ecuador, where for many years she was a practicing psychologist and teacher of Zen Buddhism. This film tells Vera's story, which the film's director contrasts and merges with his personal questions of collective guilt and individual responsibility as he attempts to come to terms with his family's legacy: his Austrian grandfather had been a member of the SS, the Nazi elite military corps.
Starring Bernhard Hetzenauer, Vera Kohn
Director Bernhard Hetzenauer