Reichsautobahn (BRD 1984-86, Hartmut Bitomsky)

FRG 1984-86, D: Hartmut Bitomsky, Doc, 91′, OV with English subtitles, 35mm

Already prior to 1933, the road- and automobile industry projected a German motorway. Only Hitler and his Inspector General for German road sector made them into a propagated showpiece. But what they created first and foremost, is its calculated aesthetics. Contemplation outshone its actual function. The autobahn was achieved through exploitative working conditions and was subsequently scarcely used. By no means, it can be regarded as a successful job creation scheme, neither did it serve as a strategic “military road“ at the beginning of the war. Nevertheless, countless films, photographs, poems, postcards, paintings and novels accompanying it never grow tired of praising it: “Books and images were the autobahn’s facade. Most of it is self-praise or reassurance. The autobahn is useful, and it is beautiful. It is proven to one what actually should have been evident. One senses the burden of the evidence.“

Repetetively, the enthusiastic worker is put into the frame, the individual bows to the big picture. It is emphasised how a modern street is in conformity with pastoral nature. An enourmous number of such produced Nazi-images is rescued from archives and compiled. Hartmut Bitomsky’s voice-over seeks to demythologise those images. Formally undogmatic on the one hand, REICHSAUTOBAHN classically gets contemporary witnesses and experts a chance to speak on the other.

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

15 April, 9 pm – Luru Kino at the Spinnerei – € 6,5 (5,5 red.)