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Film still from JONAS IN THE FIELDS.  Jonas Mekas is standing on a street corner in New York, with the Anthology Film Archives building in the background. On the bottom right is the writing "long live cinema & independence!".
© Peter Sempel

Mon 23.01.

  • Director

    Peter Sempel

  • Germany / 2021
    105 min. / DCP / Original version with German subtitles

  • Cinema

    Arsenal 1

    zu den Ticketszu dem Kalender
  • Conversation with Peter Sempel

JONAS IN THE FIELDS is a very personal film by Peter Sempel about Jonas Mekas, whom he accompanied and portrayed as a friend, often with a camera in his hand, over many decades. After Jonas in the Desert (1994), Jonas at the Ocean (2002), Jonas in the Jungle (2013), this is now the fourth film in the series. Here, Sempel accompanies Mekas between 2015 and 2020. In New York, Jonas Mekas is preparing a large art auction, by Simon de Pury, to support the future of the Anthology Film Archives, which he founded there in 1990. Artists such as Jim Jarmusch, Patti Smith, John Waters, Michael Stipe, Julian Schnabel or Steve Buscemi have their say in the film and talk about the significance Mekas has for themselves and the American avant-garde scene. Another central plot line is the joint journey to Lithuania, to the places of childhood and youth - Semeniškiai and Biržai, where Mekas later finds his final resting place. Peter Sempel also accompanies the funeral ceremonies on film, also at St. Mark’s in NY. Many memorable moments are woven into the film, lectures and readings in seminal art institutions such as the documenta or the HKW, but also in off-locations such as the Golden Pudel Club in Hamburg, which convey a very informative and at the same time humorous impression of Jonas Mekas and the cosmos around him.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media