University of Florida - Berlin 2008 Study-Abroad Photojournalism Program

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by Caitlin Healy

Robert Rapoport
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The City through a Filmmaker's Eyes

Robert Rapoport is an expatriate filmmaker living and working in Berlin.

Through a filmmaker’s eye, Berlin is a complex and interesting place. Rapoport finds Berlin a younger, more alive and welcoming city for artists than Paris and New York. “It’s just mainly this improvised tone of the city,” he said. “It’s just nice; it’s got an energy.”       

With a degree in development studies from Brown University, Rapoport began writing fiction, then delved into playwriting and screenwriting. He eventually realized he wanted the camera in his own hand. He has entered work in the Hamburg International Short Film Festival and plans to do the same with his current project, Working Title: Night’s Daughter.

Rapoport found a niche in the thriving community of artists in Berlin and supports himself financially by doing camera work and plans to give tours of the city in the summer. Rapoport hopes his films stir interest and attract financial backing for larger projects coming down the pipeline.

The physical environment heavily influences the plot of Working Title: Night’s Daughter. It was shot in an abandoned architecture office in Kurfürstendamm across from the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche. The actors collaborated with Rapoport, translating the script from English to German, giving it what Rapoport calls “another layer.”         

Hesitant to discuss the themes in his own work, Rapoport shrugs and says the film “is about a man with his feet in two different realities. The scenes that you’ll see are kind of a controlled chaos,” he said. “I don’t want to have a film where everything’s always in focus.”