Ruth Beckermann stellt ihre Kamera in den Räumen der Ausstellung “Vernichtungskrieg: Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941 bis 1944” auf. Vor diesem Hintergrund sprechen ehemalige Soldaten über ihre Erfahrungen jenseits der Grenzen “normaler” Kriegsführung.
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This work is one Beckermann's most rigourous films: She only uses simply filmed interview passages and visitors' commentaries to the exhibition but totally omits every other filmic means (like music). The result is documentary in the true sense of the word.
A must see. One of the very best documentaries about how people cope with atrocities, during and after them, and the dynamics of individual and collective guilt. The choice of bare technical cinematic means leaves all the narrative power to the stories and their witnesses. The absence of pathos combined with an acute sense of seeking truthful reactions reminds me of the luminous intelligence of Primo Levi.
Their debate and contradictory opinions in the exhibition demonstrate a more complicated picture of the mass: they show that even in the wartime the soldier has their own point of view and self-reflection, they are not ignorant machine, yet some of them take the exhibition personally and cannot deal with the ethical issue in an ultra-personal level. These different facets build up the film as a profound reflection.
I don't know where to start... this is one of the best documentaries about war... or better said about how people deal with war or the atrocities they might have committed during war, personally or as a nation.
Really good. A complex portrayal of how we deal and relate to war.
Very interesting food for thought documentary At an exposition in Vienna depicting atrocities committed by Wehrmarcht,visitors offer their version of events.There are three groups:1.men that fought themselves in war-their speech range on a large spectrum from denial to harsh criticism 2few non-combatants that lived through war 3.younger generation,a good part of which surprisingly deny or diminish the crimes.
The essence of a documentary - without pathos, reaching deep into the matter. This film explores how our minds deal with the unimaginable cruelty and madness of war - when it happens, and then after. It exposes the difference between the personal experience and its effect on the conscience and the sense of responsibility (or the lack of) vs the collective counterpart. Heartbreaking and disturbing at the same time...
A lesson in judicious cutting, how every second of observing a person introduces new meaning to them and their character. The translation to English subtitles is good and just, too. Mme. Beckermann shows the variety of human behavior which grow from violent times of war and fear. Each person's testimony touches the heart or breaks it.
«What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence» — sentenced Wittgenstein. In this case, talking about it's perhaps the only way to transcend the horizon and look at history beyond the shadow line, getting around the corner of a single perspective. It is a great touching and moving documentary work, and so powerful under the controversial testimonies.