Stan Neumann visited the workshop and showed his 2004 production for Arte France, ”Language does not Lie”, a film based on the diaries of Victor Klemperer, who survived Das dritte Reich and whose diaries were not published before the mid 1990’s, more than 30 years after his death in GDR, another regime that he was opposed to in his diaries.
The film is fabricated, the word Neumann used in the Q&A, on the diaries (1600 page!) from 1933-45, working with a very precise minimalistic film language. How can you build something, when you have nothing, Neumann said. I wanted to see it all from his place, literally, so I introduced a room with a desk by a window, a desk with a typewriter on which letters, one by one, are typed, to establish the nazi language. In between archive material and close-ups on diary pages reconstructed tableaux are introduced like in one fabulous sequence that tells about the consequences of hiding the Jewish star in public.
How refreshing it is to watch a film that talks not only to the heart but also to the head, with this brilliant text as a continuous reflection on what was going on in Nazi Germany. Much more impressive than the loads of tv films, the ”Hitler-hours” we call them in Denmark, that are broadcast every day all over the public broadcast system. Neumann stressed that he did not see Klemperer as a victim but as a fighter and had his own comment on today’s documentaries – too many documentaries are eaten by characters, and psychology, do something different please, he said to the filmmakers and producers at Ex Oriente 2nd session in Pisek.
The film will soon be out on dvd in France, published by Editions Montparnasse. Photo: Victor Klemperer.