Peter Nestler explores and wrestles with the contradictory biography of Count Eric von Rosen, a Swedish aristocrat with a serious interest in ethnology and anthropology who undertook expeditions to Africa and South America.
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A very personal and honest documentary about a black spot in familiy history, totally focused on its subject: simple, but effective, without any unnecessary ingredients. Just original documents - mostly photographs - and a spoken commentaries like text from Rosen's books and diaries. I appreciate the insistence on the spoken word as additional aesthetic value and welcome the abstinence of music.
Den Großvater befragen, wie es um die Voraussetzungen des Rassismus gestanden haben mußte im ausgehenden Kolonialismus. - das war sicherlich ein nicht einfaches Unterfangen für den Regisseur. Da half auch das exzellente Foto und Filmmaterial nicht.
Nestler beautifully handles the assemblage of the photography of his grandfather Von Rosen, raising the most poignant questions about 'that' century and its connection to this one, colonialism, ethnography, Nazism and humanity.
Not just a portrait of a family history, but a portrait of civilization at a threshold: the experiences of this one man has one foot in the 19th century, and the other stepping into the 20th. Most appreciated was the nuance with which ideas of fascism and colonialism were treated. These things don't merely happen - they are arrived at, a part of the journey. It's often necessary to look back.
Amazing footage - mostly photographs, some taken by Eric von Rosen. This is a personal, intimate documentary, exploring ambiguous and contradicting elements of human nature. The photographs are incredible, both from the technical point and how they take us back to the twilight of the colonial era, exposing the dark past of exploitation, racism, and witnessing the birth and spread of fascism in Europe.
(3.5 stars) Some beautiful images and an interesting story of discovery. The narration is very dry and boring (always a problem in these Nestler docs), and even though the central person of the documentary was quite a colonialist and racist through and through, the true WIN here are the photographs of the various indigenous tribes. Some really nice and compelling images. My favorite Nestler doc to date.
Seen 3 Nestler films. The consistent feeling I get is that they don’t go far enough, and that others have taken the essayistic documentary to far more interesting places. Watching von Rosen’s travails in the Belgian Congo inevitably made me think of Raoul Peck’s poetic and equally personal Lumumba: Death of the Prophet (documentary, not the biopic), which makes this feel like a historical curiosity at best.
The director uses his grandfather's extensive diaries & photographs to narrate his trips to South America & Africa. Fascinating glimpses into the lives of remote tribes, but also into the racism & brutality underlying the relationships between Western colonialists and the subjugated native cultures.