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What happens to your memories if nobody shares them with you? Does it make them less real?
Austrian painter and video artist Kevin Kopacka and his twin brother, documentary filmmaker Raoul Kopacka, try to answer this question in their movie “For Those Who Still Exist”.
Starting point is the memory of one summer, when the 10-year-old Kevin befriended a boy called Patrick Lurzing, who lived in the same neighbourhood as he did. The two of them spent most of the days at the playground – until one day, Patrick didn’t show up. Or did he never exist?
Although Kevin’s memories of his friend are vivid, neither his twin brother nor other childhood friends can remember ever meeting a boy called Patrick Lurzing.
“For the first time, I had to question my own perception” so Kevin, who is now trying to find answers to the questions of his past.
The two brothers travel back to their birthplace Graz to figure out what really happened back then. The only clue to Patrick’s existence is an entry in a friendship book, which a confused teen-aged Kevin crossed out and made impossible to read. They meet up with childhood friends who they haven’t met in over ten years, reminisce about the past and revisit the almost mystical places in the neighborhood where they spent most of their youth.
Dealing with the past also evokes memories of children’s ways of perceiving things. The local playground plays a central role as the main meeting point for the children of the neighborhood.
Still, the question remains: What happened to Patrick? Is he just a phantom that found it's way into real memories? And what is the difference between memories of a fantasy and memories of things that actually happened?
“For Those Who Still Exist” documentary movie (30 minutes)
A film by by Kevin Kopacka & Raoul Kopacka
Camera: Raoul Kopacka
Editing: Kevin Kopacka & Raoul Kopacka
Music: Kevin Kopacka