This is the text written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic about Loznitsa’s film that will be screened at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade tonight:
Premiered at the Venice Film Festival, “AUSTERLITZ” is another distinct documentary made by Sergei Loznitsa, who is currently one of the most significant European authors. Made in the form of classical black-and-white film, without many words, without any comment or explanation, with distinctive style in which his previous documentaries were made, this film is a complex and surprising anthropological study of collective behavior and consciousness. With the precise distance, which he determines and then never passes, Loznitsa reveals a phenomenon that intrigues us and provokes, equally as much it confuses us. This is a film in which the author, with the means of exquisite photography, camera, editing and directing, creates an exciting essay filled with tension, which turns the viewer into the silent interested witness and questioning participant.
There are places in Europe that keep the painful memories of the past – factories where people were turned into ashes. These places are now memorial complexes open to visitors and receive thousands of tourists every year. The name of the film is taken from the novel of one of the most important contemporary writers from the end of XX and the beginning of the XXI century, W.G. Sebald, which is dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust.
Loznitsa wrote: “What am I doing here? What are all these people doing here, moving in groups from one object to another? The reason that brings thousands of people to spend their summer weekends in former concentration camps is one of the mysteries of these memorial complexes.” The film is an attempt to deliberate these mysteries.
Germany, 2016, 94 mins.