December 2019, arsenal cinema

New in the arsenal distribution range


arsenal distribution presents a selection of artists’ works as Berlin cinema premieres with the filmmakers in attendance. DESERT VIEW (Daniel Kötter, Constanze Fischbeck, and the Barakat family, Germany 2018, 12.12.) is dedicated to examining forms of building and living in the only half-constructed satellite city of Madinaty that is located in the desert to the east of Cairo, allowing the viewer to take a look at the desert dreams of the Egyptian middle and upper classes.

Dani Gal’s trilogy NACHT UND NEBEL (Israel 2011), WIE AUS DER FERNE (Germany/Austria 2013), and WHITECITY (Germany 2018) revolves around the complex structures of collective remembrance and shines a light on the gaps between reality and representation and between memory and discovery by revealing history to be an open process of subjective interpretation. NACHT UND NEBEL reconstructs the night in which Adolf Eichmann was killed by Israeli policemen and his ashes were scattered in the sea as a reenactment. The complex friendship between Simon Wiesenthal, the “Nazi hunter”, and Albert Speer, leading Nazi architect, is staged in the film WIE AUS DER FERNE by way of a short text by Ludwig Wittgenstein about memory images. In WHITECITY, Israeli eugenicist Arthur Ruppin visits the Weißenhof estate in Stuttgart. In flashbacks of his visit to Nazi race theorist Hans F.K. Günther, their theories are woven together into a delirious fantasy. The decisive theme of the trilogy is the relationship between victims and perpetrators at a collective and personal level, in particular in more recent Jewish-German history. FIELDS OF NEUTRALITY(THE LAST INTERVIEW WITH LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE) (Germany 2019, 13.12.), on the other hand, draws on the reconstruction of an interview to investigate the interstitial spaces between history and memory, perception and interpretation of history and thus creates a retrospective openness that makes such established ideas begin to waver.

The longitudinal project IN ARBEIT (Minze Tummescheit, Arne Hector, Germany 2007–2017, 14.12.) by the film collective cinéma copains sees itself as carrying out research on the conditions, possibilities, and boundaries of collective action. The communicative research process also becomes the content of the film. A chain of interviews links together collective projects across Europe where working together is at the heart of their endeavors. In this way, an image of cooperative practice in different areas of society comes into view. The last three parts of the projects will be screened. Part 4: I SICALIANI (Germany 2018) shows the Sicilian social cooperative “I Sicaliani”, which has spent many years building up a ludoteca, a safe space for children, and thus reveals the changeable history of the oldest anti-Mafia cooperative in Palermo. Part 5: FREIE SCHULE AM MAUERPARK (Germany 2018) takes a look at the ideas and reality of free alternative schools. In the last part, part 6: 9TO5, LUX UND KONSORTEN UND DIE VIELEN (Germany 2018), the collective becomes porous. Teachers at the free school speak with the members of the Hamburg “9to5” group about political work from their own perspective and their experiences with mobilizing society with respect to precariousness, autonomy, and a base income.

EDGEWOOD (Katrin Pesch, USA 2019, 15.12.) brings the objects contained with Villa Edgewood near San Diego into connection with the surrounding towns and combines visual fragments to create a portrait of the region that reveals the local and colonial image of history of the California landscape in unsettling fashion. FINDING THINGS I DON’T WANT TO FIND (Katrin Pesch, USA 2016) develops an experimental ethnography about material and immaterial encounters in a small local history museum in southern California.

RASENDES GRÜN MIT PFERDEN (Ute Aurand, Germany 2019, 15.12.) is a collective of brief observations and encounters filmed between 1999 and 2018 on trips, at home, with friends, and alone. They are private gestures, spontaneously filmed beyond the category of either narrative or documentation. (ara)