Cannes Film Festival 2022: About the natural history of destruction | Documentary archive by Ukrainian Sergei Loznitsa based on WGSebald’s book

From Cannes

In 1999, the German escritor WGSebald publish a bundle of titular bundles Luftkrieg und Literatur (Air warfare and literature), where a point of the German literature of the twentieth century was cut: the manifestation -salvo races of excerpts- of works that hubieran dado account of the consequences of the systematic and massive bombarded alliances on the civil war having a balance of 600 miles and trauma that is convincing in taboo. Somehow surviving Nazi revisionism, Sebald – who in his book reconciled himself as a reference to Elías Canetti and Alexander Kluge – planted the problem of the place of the cul-de-sac and the vergezenza: “Millions of human beings can no longer count on the Venetian potential of the politico-military logic that dictates the destruction of German cities.”

This book has been translated into English as well On the Natural History of Destruction (there is a castellana edition by Anagrama: About the natural history of destruction) and this title is the one to adopt the Ukrainian cinema Sergei Loznitsa for the most recent documentary that, exhibiting competition, fired one of the points above the other Cannes Film Festival. Considering that Loznitsa – author of notable documentaries based on archival material, such as The process (2018) y Funeral of the State (2019) – is a declared encyclopedia of Russian expansionism because it is a priori necessary that a new film be given an interpretation based on Sebald’s text, adapted to the current current developments of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I must recognize the intellectual integrity of Loznitsa, which allows you to update the theme – the genesis of your project overhauled in 2018 – in the spirit of the book, as well as in a variety of films, creating extra image archives fictitious eloquence that is what Sebald’s extravagant, he says: complementary to the form in which the article is literally ”.

If you are interested in Loznitsa –the sound of the extraordinarily Lithuanian montage Danielius Kokanauskis- it is part of the articulation of your archive films, conceived in the manner of symphonies, with their respective movements, each with a theme and a structure different. Y The Natural History Of Destruction is not the exception. His masterpiece flame comenia with the credits of the film in the incontrovertible German gothic typography, the “fracture” lamp, as a mode of weighting the film and the spectator in context: with ningún otro país.

All in all, it has a variety of shapes or colors: images of a pacific, buccal rural screws, pecans, antiquities aldeas allied with calico music, or of porters working porters making their faience. When the pictures correspond to the exchange of the big capital, Berlin, or its elegantly accommodating prison, which is desperately open on the terraces of the cafes (there are pictures of the legendary Kranzler, who sobrevive hoy en día), which: but the uniforms with the crucifixes and the Nazi flags waving in the direction, the shadows on the sky of the city a monumental zeppelin. The Swiss iconography is protagonist.

Es en ese momento cuando el film pasa a su segundo movimiento, lento, grave. Aquel skull initially, full of diffused clouds (like the one that Adolf Hitler descended, in the style of a god, in The triumph of voluntariness, the famous 1935 documentary by Leni Riefenstahl) that flies at night, illuminated by the most frequent detonations, which are conveyed in a series of abstract frames in motion. The point of jumping from the ground to the highlands and now is one of the attacks, which come from the carousel of your planes – and the spectator of the movie with the ellipse – one by one op-art in white and black, provoked by the bombs that land and disperse the anti-aircraft artillery they receive. Abajo, sin embargo, se ver luego el paiseje después de la battal: edificios en llamas, que se desmoronan ante el esfuerzo vano los bomberos; women with their hair and their thighs and breasts, abandoning with the gacha mirada lo hasta poco antes fueron sus casas y ahora son montañas de escombros.

Sebald’s book – which Loznitsa’s have written the title of one of his novels for his documentary, Austerlitz (2016) – describe in detail, based on official points, the strategy of the allied saturation bombing denominated “Operation Gomorrah”. According to the German author, “the Royal Air Force alone reaches a million tons of bombs across the environs, of which 131 cities have been attacked, in part only one egg and in part over several times, all of which have arrived in total.” The Ukrainian cinema, without embargo, concentrates not on the effects of the bombings, but on the machine of destruction of industrial dimensions that are possible.

At a rate of scrutiny, Loznitsa magnifiably used the archive material on the massive construction of bomber planes and mounting chains with its own food, explosives, ammunition, and ammunition boards as well as filming. territorial reconnaissance and propaganda weapons (cinematic cameras also play an important role in The process como en Funeral of the State). In a previous film, such as Loznitsa, from an off-road narrator or explicit excerpts, the fragments of discourse that were included were particularly significant.

The first corresponds to the British Marquis Bernard Law Montgomery when he visited a military factory and with his legendary charisma won the sympathy of his captors, a master – a masterpiece of the film – succeeding equivalent to a German plant factory, for live search of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, interpreting excerpts from The best singers of Nurembergby Richard Wagner.

There is a discourse that the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is directing the German population and that he is inviting them to the rural areas to escape the bombings and that they “can see how far they can go.” The third is the most significant and corresponding to Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris, the architect of the indiscriminate bombardment, made of “deer” technique. Sostiene Sir Harris, accustomed to condo as “The Butcher” (the carnier): “Well, I’m waiting for this to happen, because now (…) Germany is going to be a very interesting initial experiment.”

Loznitsa’s montage is a terrible historical document, an audio of an official Nazi official (¿Goebbels?) With no escalating menus: At the same time, the film is about to turn into a symphony to convert into a rhythm, into a lightning bolt, but now it has pictures of London blown away by bombs and firebrands with no distinction between cities and towns.

Si hay algo –mucho, en verdad- de essay pas recuerda e film i que hoy tiene un eco en is present guerra en el este e Europa e just just escalation no sélo bélica sino también discursive que han adopat las parts en pugna. The military-industrial complex operates and operates on the compass of the vernacular of a political direction that does not seem to have learned about the natural history of destruction.

The story of Sergei Loznitsa

Loznitsa at the Cannes Film Festival. Imagine AFP

¿Sergei Loznitsa contra la corriente? Various personalities of the Ukrainian foot painter in Croisette a total boycott of Russian artists, the director of Funeral of the State I was interviewed by the French news agency AFP for “deciding what is good and what is bad”.

“This act is inhumane. How do you define the concept of Russian?”, Asked the filmmaker, who was born in Belarus, created a cybernetic study in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and took cinematographic forms in his school. Moscow. “¿Russian sauce for your passport, but for your citizenship? ¿For your ethnicity? It’s a pendulum swing”, Loznitsa estimates in the middle of a festival program in official competition Tchaikovsky’s houseRussian dissident director Kirill Serebrennikov, exiled to Berlin, claims to be accrediting the majority of Russian periodicals.

“It is a firm convenience that we must not allow individuals to make declarations, but individual actions and not accompanied by passports. Each individual case must be justified by certain criteria,” he insisted.

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