He drew sketches on tiny pieces of paper and sent them from the trenches to a young cellist who was waiting for him in Berlin. She thought he was a genius, and after WWI she helped him become the busiest architect in Germany. When she planned to leave him, for a communist poet, he built her dream house, every detail tailored to her tastes, from the lakeview living room to the silver-wear and her evening-gowns. When the Nazis came to power, they escaped Germany and left the house forever. Erich and Louise Mendelsohn wandered between continents, between wars, between success and failure, leaving Erich’s magnificent buildings scattered in their path.
Erich Mendelsohn, a contemporary of Walter Gropius and Miess van der Rohe, influenced generations of architects. In this creative homage, his story unfolds through correspondence with Louise, a beautiful young cellist who became his wife. The director, Duki Dror, gently breathes life into the correspondence of two passionate artists who helped each other weather a turbulent time in history. Mendelsohn’s career followed the jagged trajectory of many German-Jewish émigrés fleeing Nazism; he worked in England, Israel and finally, in the USA. Mendelsohn’s drawings pulsate with energy, and his buildings are stunning. His earlier work, the Einstein Tower, is one of the most important exemplars of modern architecture. Dror deftly juxtaposes the architect’s original designs with contemporary images, weaving in reflections from architects and locals who use these unique buildings today—a testament to the integrity and timelessness of his visionary design.