Lecture | Auschwitz Cinema. Filmische Reflexionen des Holocaust von Marcus Stiglegger / Son of Saul (HU 2015, László Nemes)

In this year, too, we want to continue to examine the political potential of cinema as well as its involvement in the formation of a cultural memory, its representation of history and its function as a vehicle for collective commemoration.

Accordingly, we’re really happy to have Prof. Dr. Marcus Stiglegger—film scholar and cultural scientist from Berlin – coming to our festival on Apr 24, 2016 and present his recent findings on cinematic representations of the Shoah.

Also, we are glad to be able to screen the Oscar and Golden Globe winning and really outstanding film »Son of Saul« by László Nemes, after the lecture.

Watch the trailer here and read more about this section of our festival below:

Lecture: Auschwitz Cinema. Cinematic Contemplations on the Holocaust by Marcus Stiglegger

Oscillating between the ban of creating images of the intangible and the demand for rememberance, cinematic accounts of the events during National-Socialist occupation proceeded sluggishly at the beginning and were followed by several tentative phases. Eventually, at the end of the 1970s, a cinematic way of representation comparable to Auschwitz literature had been established, a form which evolved a distinct iconography of genocide and concentration camps. The power of those images exerts its influence until the present day. Their iconic character superimposes historical events – even more so: the simulation of those events is being equalled with the actual events. In his lecture Auschwitz Cinema, film scholar and cultural scientist Marcus Stiglegger will, with a focus on the myth-making, present essential tendencies of cinematography, its narratives and its imagery of a fictionalised holocaust. With a cursory look and starting from the post-war period, he will examine a search for orientation in the 1960s, scandalous experiments in the 1970s, the forming of an iconography in the 1980s as well as consider the time after the paradigm shift following Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1994). Based on different filmic examples, Stiglegger will talk about the contemporary discourse on holocaust, also coherently incorporating marginalised films like Love Camp 7 (1969), Salon Kitty (1976) oder Tras el cristal (1987) into the discourse instead of blocking them out.

Following the lecture: Saul fia (Son of Saul)
(HU 2015, D: László Nemes, A: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, 107’, OV with English subtitles, BluRay)

Rather than trying to stay on top of things, this film directly throws oneself into the gear of a monstrous death factory and therein foremostly focuses on a single, tiny cog only. Over the entire time, all events remain committed to protagonist Saul and his perception. Thereby, Son of Saul pursues an interplay which on the one hand declines explicit representations, though on the other hand provides exactly those pictures that—according to Claude Lanzmann, director of »Shoah«— were not permitted to exist. Ultimately, the most horrible thing is what we do not or only insufficiently see and perceive: blurred takes that have to be completed with the help of our fantasy, cheered by a fussing cacophony of death consisting of screaming, shooting and the infinite clatter of the machinery of annihilation.

24 April, 8 pm – UT Connewitz – € 8/6 (red.)