DOK Leipzig Film Festival



Is this still memorial or already event culture? All those slogans on T-shirts we see every day, from “Cool Story, Bro” to “This Is Your Lucky Day” – what do they stand for when the context is a visit to a concentration camp? Are these misguided messages, errant people? And is “Work Makes You Free” just another slogan that calls for a pose with the selfie stick, either before or behind the gate?

Sergei Loznitsa’s camera is firmly set up at the place where ever new hosts of tourists stream through the site like through a theme park, neither stopping nor trying to connect to their environment. In carefully framed black and white tableaux he gives us, in proven fashion, the time necessary to become aware of every detail within the frame. The camera records several memorial sites (including Sachsenhausen and Dachau) like a single place that reveals nothing, a de-historicised and ultimately nameless sightseeing destination. Even the title of the film refers to the exchangeability of the content. At its centre are the visitors and with them the big issue of our identity and localisation in history. Nonetheless, individual speakers detach themselves from the murmur of the soundtrack; individual faces stand out of the crowd and invite us to take a closer look at the dynamics between the masses and the individual.

Lars Meyer

Golden Dove International Competition 2016

Original Title: Austerlitz
Country: Germany
Year: 2016
Language: English, German, Spanish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 94 min.
Format: DCP
Color: B&W
Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Producer: Imperativ Film
Cinematographer: Sergei Loznitsa, Jesse Mazuch
Editor: Danielius Kokanauskis
Sound: Vladimir Golovnitski
Script: Sergei Loznitsa

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