Sergei Loznitsa is fixated on time, thematically and formally. While his follow-up to My Joy lacks the earlier film's tricky structure, which suggested a present condemned to continually echo the trauma of the past, it foregrounds the subject in other, subtler ways.
A spartan not-quite-war movie, In the Fog is set—or, perhaps more accurately, located—in Nazi-occupied Belarus. Long takes—camera carefully dollying backwards through endless forest—are the movie's stock in trade. Loznitsa uses match cuts sparingly, and because of this, each shot registers as an individualized formal / narrative structure—a chunk of real time. Edits register as gaps rather than links. The titular fog—which rolls in during the final scene—is the fog of history; for Loznitsa, the past is first and foremost a once-present.
In the Fog opens with a three-or-so minute handheld shot of a village marketplace, where disinterested Belarusians and Germans half-observe an off-screen group execution. »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
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