Sergey Loznitsa: Austerlitz/ 2

This is a text written by festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic about Loznitsa’s film that was recently screened at the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade and will be shown at Cinemateket Sunday February 26:

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.

http://www.loznitsa.eu/

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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