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September 2019, arsenal cinema

FilmDocument: Archives bear witness

Jay Leyda, who was trying in the mid-20th century to elevate film documents to the rank of evidence, described the compilation film as a “trial by document”. In the GDR, it was the documentary filmmakers Annelie and Andrew Thorndike, who used the medium as a weapon. After their feature-length compilation film Du – und mancher Kamerad (The German Story, GDR 1956), which they largely put together from what remained of the Reich Film Archive, they made two films for the short-lived “Archive sagen aus” (“Archives bear witness”) series, URLAUB AUF SYLT (Holiday on Sylt, 1957) and UNTERNEHMEN TEUTONENSCHWERT (Operation Teutonic Sword, GDR 1958). The latter denounced the continuities between National Socialism and the Federal Republic of Germany, especially in relation to positions held. It thus tried to contrast the two German states – the reactionary West versus the progressive East. A CineGraph Babelsberg event in conjunction with the German Federal Archive and the Deutsche Kinemathek. (az) Introduction: Alexander Zöller (16.9.)