For the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Oberhausen Manifesto, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen seems to have deployed an expected reminder and canonization: a retrospective. But the reality is far from this conventionality. Instead, the festival has activated a series, sequence and near-simultaneity of films programmed by Ralph Eue and Olaf Möller called Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifestos that form a complex, varied and nuanced international constellation of absolutely necessary, engaged and reactive short films from the 1950s-1960s. It is not a look back, as most retrospectives inevitably are, but a bracing engagement with a reality, both historic and contemporary, that proves to be still absolutely crucial to our understanding of the world and its cinema.
The opening ceremony of the festival capped an endless series of introductions—which included an unexpected but moving reminder of and plea about the economic ghettoization of cultural