Fotoamator

Dariusz Jablonski, Poland, 1998
Synopsis

‘I found out that people are capable of adapting themselves to the most extreme conditions,‘ says the Jewish doctor Arnold Mostowicz. He is one of the few survivors of the ghetto in the Polish city of Lodz. The gripping interview excerpts with Mostowicz have not only been shot in black and white, but his face is also kept half hidden by means of shadow effects. Presumably to emphasize that his eyes have seen things that in fact cannot tolerate daylight. Mostowicz‘s story about the degrading conditions in the ghetto are alternated with colour photographs, made by a German bookkeeper. The photographs that were recovered only in 1987 are unique in more than one way. They are not only some of the very first colour pictures ever made, they have registered life in a ghetto in a very exceptional way: through the eyes of a Nazi supporter. In a dramatised voice-over we hear how the photographer — obviously not realising the impact of his pictures on later generations — lodges complaints with the manufacturer about the poor colour quality of the photos. These distressing quotations, also of high-ranking German officers and officials, reappear at various times in the film. They principally illustrate how thoughtlessly people were busy with their daily worries, while the massacre was being performed. The Polish director Dariusz Jablonski visited the houses and locations on the photographs. His recently shot black-and-white images are faded into the colour pictures, creating a stylized and highly alienating effect. Nowhere on the photos or in the footage do we see corpses or skeletons, but the impending atrocities are painfully tangible behind every image and behind every quotation.

Call for Entry: IDFA Bertha Fund Classic April 14, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has announced the second selection round in 2015 for IBF Classic. The deadline for application is May 15.
IBF announces February selection April 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded its February 2015 selection round. Eleven documentary projects will be supported through the Fund's classic scheme, while another six projects have been selected for the new category IBF Europe.
IDFA DocLab's Caspar Sonnen receives EDN Award 2015 March 23, 2015 | Last Friday, the 11th EDN Award was presented to IDFA's own Caspar Sonnen, for "his pioneering commitment to interactive documentary work".
Film entry is open March 3, 2015 | With great pleasure IDFA announces that Film Entry for the 2015 festival is now open! Again, more than 250 documentaries will be selected, running the gamut from international audience favorites to artistic experiments along the fringes of the genre. Deadlines are May 1 and August 1.

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