A radio play
The book And There Was Light tells the story of Jacques Lusseyran, a Frenchman who, though blind, had played an important role in the Resistance during the Nazi occupation. He was the leader of a Resistance unit, and whenever someone wanted to join the unit, Lusseyran would spend an hour alone with the applicant, chatting about innocent, unrelated subjects. Specifically, because he was blind, his other sensibilities had developed to a degree that enabled him to tell whether or not the applicant could be trusted. During the war, he passed on some forty people, and the only person he was unsure about turned out to be a traitor.
The story, real as it is, struck a cord of the Oedipus legend. Not being able to see may turn one into a more insightful human being.
In one episode in the book, Lusseyran writes about his childhood, about the first book his mother read to him after he became blind. The book was The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, and it was in Braille.
In There’s a Rumble in the Jungle, a character named Jacques Lusseyran tells his story. But instead of following the autobiographical details of his life, he becomes the blind motion picture director. This blind director is working on an adventure film. The adventure takes place inside his head. His own twisted imagining of The Jungle Book is as far away as it can be from the Disney version. It is Lusseyran’s audio film told as a mix of real facts and the jungle in his imagination.
Performers: Anna Mendelssohn, Markus Zett, Jaschka Lämmert, Peter Stamer
Sounddesign: Michael Strohmann
ambient sounds by klankbeeld, Felix Blume, Peter Kutin
Written and directed by Yosi Wanunu
Translation: Jacqueline Csuss
Produced by Kornelia Kilga
Atelierhaus der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna/ Nov 12 – 15, 2014