Documentary film lasts longer than the State in which it is created
Friday, 4th June 2021
Film is, like all art, a form to appropriate the world. And also the desire to grasp the passing. With something that itself passes, but leaves traces in us, as time also does. An image of what is, what comes up and what passes. And it adds something to it.
This not only forces one to always take a new, close look, to penetrate the surface and the mirroring. It forces one to put the general into the concrete and to grasp a concrete person as this general in its time. To bring the image to a concept. But as something that remains in motion, nothing definitive, and not hiding this openness, as well as its weaknesses. A good documentary film is always a good piece of ideology-shattering. What is interesting is what is sustainable about it. Bombs, shot into time. Message. Of a life, for example. Archaeology of real existence. This can be transferred some day to another repository, a memory of the species.
News of existences of a time. And also about the ways people think. Against the current, questioning the image that is determined by power relations. This is fun, by the way. A dialogue between present and present and future, because: “A time that has lost the memory for the things that shape its life does not know where it is, and even the less what it wants. A civilization that has lost its memory and staggers from day to day, from event to event, is more irresponsible than cattle, for the latter have the security of instincts.”
For the time being, there is nothing to add to this phrase from Siegfried Giedeon’s 1948 “Rule of Mechanization,” his “contribution to anonymous history,” as he called it.
Thomas Heise, born 1955 in Berlin (GDR), author and director film/radio/theater since 1980. Documentaries, theater productions, radio works. Honorary professor for cinematography at Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Professor for art and film at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Director of the Section Film and Media Art at the German Academy of Arts. Member of the European Film Academy.