The compilation of material speaks for itself: the display of - more or less - innocent themes in the photographies, the excerpts of Emil Dorian's diary and the historical sound recordings outline a process of de-humanization and its outcome as well as the tendency to suppress and forget the events.
Loved the cracks on so many of the images; they remind us of the encroaching darkness, of how fast human life can be extinguished when evil is condoned. The best part of the harrowing journal is when the Romanians are hurt that the remaining Jews might take the liberty to identify war criminals. That attitude is so typical of the oppressor, even in America today with the reactionist All Lives Matter movement.
Thoroughly original exposition of the traumatized national consciousness in Romania, with the rise of the legionaries and the wave of Anti-Semitic pogroms that followed the Nazi influence on Romanian nationalism. The stills have a transcendent quality and their decay through cuts and burns adds the aggressive edges that the viewer can only imagine through the narration of unspeakable cruelties. A major testament!
This is a tough theme. The grandiloquence of the images tells, in silence, a period of European history that has much to do with the right wing nationalism observed world wide (and here in Brazil). Scary.
No matter how many incisive documentaries we put into the hopper of human education as icons of bitter reflection, we always see the same folly. Perhaps not always the tectonic damage of WW I and WW II, or even the howling barbarity of scapegoating Jewry into the eventual Holocaust. But, perpetually comforting our amnesia for our most grievous sins as we cheer on a new leader, a new border, a new slogan, a new enemy
A fascinating exercise; simply executed but telling in the semi-random juxtapositions between photographs and narrated journal. It poses questions around the myriad possibilities of associative or connotative meaning of picture and word. Context is everything: is a smiling portrait taken before 1939 a last gasp of innocent hope? Or grinning a year later a case of smug wickedness? Neither or either? Excellent stuff.
Indie Lisboa # 23. If the former was, quoting me, "a film with the dimension of an end-of-century literature," this one reviews the first half of the following century under the light of photographs, applying to it the words of a contemporary diary written by a Jewish physician, who provides the thought that reads the images at the light of an analysis, a memory's residual debris.The literary dimension thickens.