Deutschlandbilder (BRD 1982/83, Hartmut Bitomsky, Heiner Mühlenbrock)

FRG 1982/83, D: Hartmut Bitomsky, Heiner Mühlenbrock, Doc, 60′, German version, 35mm

It starts as a montage of black and white scenes presenting all kinds of sportive activities, formal attractions and everyday cheerfulness. Among them are also images of a swastika-confetti shower and first uniforms; a flood of “Deutschlandbilder”. Subsequently, a tracking shot along spread film photos, the voice over soberly assesses: “The Nazis wanted to put a complexion on Germany that pleased them. They were decidedly drawn to aesthetic beauty. They appreciated films that depicted German culture – cultural films.“ These cultural films are concerned in this essayistic compilation film made of archival footage.

The construction principle seems simple: chronological panels mark the time of origin of the commented-on Nazi cultural film extracts from 1933 to 1945; occasionally interlaced are scenes that are staged divergently, showing photographic reproductions being flicked through or paced off by the camera, accompanied by a voice over. However, the question essentially driving the film is a complicated one that cannot be resolved conclusively: What do these images tell us today, and how are we to talk about about them in the present? There has been no iconoclasm: they are accessible, commonly used to prove how fascism was like, but they themselves are an immense pseudo-production. Pseudo-realities concealing more than they show. Yet they expose something. In the end, it is said: “An image is the mask of the other.“

With an introduction by Ramón Reichert (in German)

[Working on the image | Insights into the work of Hartmut Bitomsky]

15 April, 7 pm – Luru Kino at the Spinnerei – € 6,5 (5,5 red.)