It’s difficult to critique emotion. It is especially so when what you’ve been told to focus on is form and rhythm and structure of the story. While these elements are undeniably important, it’s what they achieve that I’m trying to observe in this audio narrative about Marion Lembryk growing up in NAZI occupied Poland.
Mr Lembryk, now a grandfather, has a distinctive Polish accent, and that, paired with the background hum of an accordion, sets an amazingly vivid and authentic scene. I’m on the railway beside him, watching the NAZI brutality unfold.
The intermittent voice of the interviewer, however, abruptly tears me away from the foreign world I’m immersed in. Her Australian accent and seemingly scripted style reminds me that this is in fact a set up, conducted for purposes other than pure emotional remembrance. Each time she speaks, I lose interest; I want to hear it from Mr Lembryk. It’s his story.
There are few ambient noises, but I don’t think this detracts from the story at all, as Mr Lembryk’s voice and shuffles provide an adequate cultural and emotional atmosphere.
The story flows from atrocity to empathy, which works marvellously in showing the emotional fortitude of the subject. Despite being subjected and witness to all kinds of horrors, Mr Lembryk is not filled with overwhelming hatred towards the society who persecuted him.
On a technical side-note, the audio itself could be enhanced by smoother change overs, but this issue only presents itself to those that are looking for it.
I found this to be a powerful piece. With a few alterations it could be entirely immersive.