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Typical Farocki, not bad, but not for the masses either

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
19 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Bilder der Welt und Inschrift des Krieges" or "Images of the World and the Inscription of War" is a West German film from 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell, so this one is already over 25 years old. The writer and director is the late filmmaker Harun Farocki, who today is mostly known for his collaborations with Christian Petzold, even if he had a long and successful career in his own right too. This documentary here is neither among his most or least known works I would say. You can take a look at the plot description here on IMDb and you will realize this is an extremely specific subject that will only be of interest to very few, but those who care about the subject will probably have a great time. You can probably call it a movie in which war (World War II) meets art (camera/video filmmakers). And this description is probably true for many works from Farocki. Anyway, I am a bit sad to say that my interest in World War II alone just isn't enough to appreciate this movie really. The narrator is Ulrike Grote, a German actress and filmmaker with a fairly unique career that turned her even into an Oscar nominee. The fact that she worked with Farocki in her 20s already certainly adds to this uniqueness that he chose her for narrating here. Overall, this is not a bad film by any means, but the subject is so niche, so specific that it is impossible for me to recommend this to wide audiences everywhere. You definitely need an advance interest in the subject before watching this one already. I am not in this very small circle of those who have it.

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