Germany 2016, 94 min, English, German and Spanish, Hebrew & English subtitles
If it weren’t for the sign above the gate that reads “Arbeit Macht Frei”, you’d be forgiven for thinking the hordes of tourists crowding the Sachsenhausen concentration camp were flocking to just another “must-see” destination. Famed director Sergei Loznitsa appears to keep his distance. He lets his microphone pick up fragments of the guides’ explanations, as they describe the horrors that occurred here less than 80 years ago, in various languages, while the visitors wander to and fro, as if dropped from another planet. He uses his camera to frame, with exquisite simplicity and precision, the offhanded aloofness and triviality of Holocaust tourism. A gentle, yet hypnotic and harrowing film, that raises difficult questions about the relevance of memory and commemoration.
Previous Festivals: DokFest Leipzig, IDFA, TIFF
Production Company: Imperativ Film
Editing: Danielius Kokanauskis
Cinematography: Sergei Loznitsa, Jesse Mazuch
Ukrainian director, scriptwriter, producer. In 1997 Loznitsa graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. He has directed 18 internationally acclaimed documentary films. His two feature films, “Schastye moe” and “V humane” had their world premieres at the Festival de Cannes, where “V tumane” received the FIPRESCI prize.