Tate Modern Film

Helena Wittmann: Drift and Ada Kaleh

Film still of window curtain of bedroom, light shines through

Helena Wittmann, Ada Kaleh, 2018, film still. Courtesy the artist

Discover a striking pair of films exploring connections between people, place, movement and emotion

Artist Helena Wittmann joins us to present a special screening of her debut feature Drift alongside the London premiere of her short film Ada Kaleh. Showcasing Wittmann's exquisite cinematography, the works explore relationships between intimacy and absence, spaces and emotions, movement and stillness, inside and outside.

Ada Kaleh, named after a now submerged Ottoman Turkish island in the Danube, creates a tender portrait of a shared apartment. The muted rhythm of daily life is reflected in the film’s slow pans.

In Drift a delicate narrative unfolds into sublime, oceanic abstraction. Two women spend a weekend together by the sea. After parting ways and now separated by the vastness of the Atlantic, they begin a journey back together. The rolling ocean waves echo their physical isolation but emotional connection. Framed between two video conversations, the film asks us to consider how our relationships are shaped by time, distance and memory.


Ada Kaleh, [Germany] 2018, DCP, colour, sound, 14 min, Mandarin with English subtitles
Drift, [Germany] 2017, DCP, colour, sound, 95 min, German and Spanish with English subtitles
Discussion with the artist and Tate Film curators​


Helena Wittmann (b. 1982, German) is a filmmaker whose work explores the boundaries between people, places and emotion.

 image of dry paint on wall

Helena Wittmann, Ada Kaleh 2018, film still. Courtesy the artist

image of plants through window

Helena Wittmann, Ada Kaleh 2018, film still. Courtesy the artist

image of beach and pathway

Helena Wittmann, Drift 2017, film still. Courtesy the artist

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

9 October 2019 at 18.30–21.30

Supported by

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