Why I Make Films
“Most important to me is to listen beneath the surfaces of images and facts,
allowing the deeper truth of a person or situation come to light.
I make films about the forces that come through people –
the spirit or universal story that wants to be known.
films I am inviting my audiences into the realm of poetry and listening,
a state of mind that counterbalances the busy world of media. I invite them to see with the inner eye. As a storyteller I spin and weave layer upon layer, allowing
viewers to join with their own imaginations weaving and spinning
still long after the film is over.”
work of Karina Epperlein has a depth of sensitivity and insight
that dissolves the often blinding exterior of appearance into
the simplicity of the commonly shared human condition. In her
extraordinary work the eye of the camera is actually the eye
of the heart and mind experiencing the reason and feeling behind
any particular circumstance.
King, choreographer, teacher and founder of Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Dance Center
“Karina Epperlein has developed instincts for visual language of cinema at once beautiful and thought provoking.”
—Tony Kashani, Ph.D., author of
"Deconstructing the Mystique:
An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Cinema"
A native of Germany, Karina Epperlein has worked in Europe and the U.S. for the past thirty-six years a filmmaker, theater artist, and teacher. After arriving in San Francisco in 1982, she developed her own poetic vision of theatre, writing, directing and performing original pieces. Karina's lifelong teaching and experiences include movement, voice and creative expression as well as 27 years of teaching T'ai chi Ch'uan, breath and sound.
eighteen years she has been a “dependent” documentary
filmmaker who has been very fortunate to follow the lead of her fiercely
independent spirit, often defying conventions and the notion of art
as commercial enterprise. Karina’s
work looks for the light in darkness, addressing
the themes of transformation and healing. Her award-winning documentaries give face and voice to the unseen in society, highlighting their unique stories and the universal issues that link them to history.
video pieces Labyrinthian (1984) and i.e.Deutschland (1988) were
followed by the documentaries Voices
From Inside (1996, women in prison & their children), Women's Rites (2000, the Halprin Life/Art Process), I
Will Not Be Sad In This World (2001, portrait of 94 year
old Armenian woman surviving genocide), We
Are Here Together (2003, charter high school experiment & the
young people’s growth), Phoenix Dance (2006, a one-legged dancer's return to the stage), In the Shadow of Huma's Wing (2008, Somatic Psychotherapy with Louise Barrie), and Awakening From Sorrow: Buenos Aires 1997 (2009, the children of the Disappeared in the Dirty War).
Dance (2006) has been screening in more than 100 different festivals and
theatres all over the world. It was“shortlisted” for the 2006 Oscar Nomination for Short Documentary, and won numerous international awards, including a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Int’l Film Festival. To this piece—which she also photographed and edited—she brought her past experience as professional dancer and choreographer.