HFM × Arthaus – Zustand und Gelände

Moderation: Goggo Gensch


Ute Adamczewski (director and producer)

Prof.in Dr. Verena Krieger (chair holder of Art History, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

Ute Adamczewski's award-winning documentary Zustand und Gelände (D 2019) tells the story of an escalation.

The starting point of the film are so-called wild concentration camps, which were set up immediately after the National Socialists seized power in March 1933 to eliminate political opponents and have largely been forgotten today. Zustand und Gelände is about the overwriting of places by time and how different political cultures of memory have inscribed themselves on them. The film combines three consecutive periods of German history into a loose narrative in which violence to assert power plays an essential role.

Images of streets, residential buildings, palaces and castles in Saxony meet bureaucratic correspondence, diary entries, and literary fragments read from the off. At the beginning they come from the year 1933, thematically revolving around the search for, and later the organization of, protective custody and concentration camps, the suppression and resistance of the political opposition, and traumatic experiences. Gradually new layers of time are added - 1945, 1977, 1990, 2011 - and with them discourses of the culture of remembrance - the representation of these events, the establishment of monuments, the definition of the term "victims of fascism". Eye and ear are separated from each other, the presence of the places in the picture meets their use and interpretation in various historical layers in the sound. Zustand und Gelände not only tells of places that became part of a network-like fascist infrastructure right from the start under National Socialism, but also later - after the Second World War, after the end of the GDR, in the all-German presence of the NSU - contested areas of an interpretation sovereignty of history and legitimacy of political lines.

This gives rise to the oppressive feeling of the past insisting on a present, history becomes comprehensible as something that has been layered, points in time and periods of time multiply in every picture and insist on their now. (Source: Grandfilm)

Kindly supported by the City of Stuttgart.

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