First Trailer for Sergei Loznitsa's Concentration Camp Doc 'Austerlitz'
"Follow me this way…" If you've followed the Cannes Film Festival in the last decade, you know the name Sergei Loznitsa - a Ukrainian filmmaker who has premiered numerous films at the festival in the past few years. His latest work is a documentary called Austerlitz, which examines the baffling yet common idea of visiting the grounds of former Nazi concentration camps. "One of the biggest mysteries of such places is the motive that induces thousands of people to spend their summer weekends in former concentration camps looking at ovens in a crematorium. To try to come to grips with this, I made this film," Loznitsa explains. This trailer is a very bleak introduction that instantly asks: why are these places so popular with tourists?
Here's the festival trailer for Sergei Loznitsa's doc Austerlitz, direct from TIFF's YouTube:
The new film from Sergei Loznitsa (Maidan, The Event, In the Fog) is a stark yet rich and complex portrait of tourists visiting the grounds of former Nazi extermination camps, and a sometimes sardonic study of the relationship (or the clash) between contemporary culture and the sanctity of the site. Austerlitz is directed by award-winning Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, of films including My Joy, In the Fog, Revue, Blockade, Bridges of Sarajevo, as well as the docs Maidan and The Event previously. The film is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival coming up this fall. It is still in search of distribution, so no other release details are available just yet. Stay tuned for more updates. Your thoughts?
Reader Feedback - 4 Comments
Yeah I always had a hard time with the fact these death camps are used a tourist destinations. So weird. I would never want to visit one. My mom's extended family was lost at one of these places. I think it would probably be better to raze them and put up a small memorial or something like that.
DAVIDPD on Aug 22, 2016
I'm always very interested in any Holocaust-related documentary, but this trailer did nothing to pique my interest.
cuckoozey on Aug 23, 2016
I tend to agree with both of you, Bo. I absolutely agree with you (and even more than with this filmmaker) that people should see and visit places like this. I did so myself in my part of the world. But being from Eastern Europe, I think I understand his motives. You mentioned Disneyland. Imagine people who take concentration camp site similar to Disneyland. Isn't that a bit deranged? To say at least. Imagine coming people to those sites without respect for what happened there and just wanted to be seen there. And besides, there are sites of different regimes and ideologies in Europe where some play or use one of those sites against the others for ideological or any other purposes. A lot of cynicism is invested in this. So, to be quite and essentially sensitive about it, I think that's what this guy says. But, on the other side, and that's where I pretty much agree with you, he lost the real possibility to spread a word about the need to show some respect for those places and all that happened there. We didn't see the film so we can't say all there is about it but I think he will put some of things I mentioned. Anyway, I don't think that he ignores anything you described in your post, I think he want to argue more than that ...
shiboleth on Aug 23, 2016
Oh no, Bo, we shouldn't close anything or stop people from being creative about anything, not at all. Just like this guy, he should do what he means to do. All I am saying is that people change, times change and the way people see and address things change. Pointing that this is being, as you say, judgmental probably is also too harsh itself? Or maybe it is judgmental, but not in its strong meaning as you present it. We all judge things, people, events and what not and why should that be taken against us? Why we shouldn't see the problem in those matters where others just don't see anything? Or, at least, not in a way we do. However, I see something, through this trailer, something close to some kind of suggestion and not some harsh judgment of humanity. I admit, I still can discern that suggestion, but maybe it is worth discerning. And even if some harsh judgment of humanity is the case, so what? Terrible places like this that are thematized here deserve some special sensitivity. In that respect I care less about the ego or being overstuffed with one's special place in world. For example, none of us must love David Lynch but his films are something special in a film history. And I think it's worthy contribution to film culture. I might not like everything he does, but I don't deny it either as some value. And I think it's better to have an ego when it comes to concentration camp over not having any respect or being conscious about it. And why not filming it? It may not be my or your idea of doing film, but so what? Besides, all this time, there's a possibility that it also has to be seen for being less judgmental about it, wouldn't you say, Bo? Cheers ...
shiboleth on Aug 23, 2016
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