Excavators jitter nervously back and forth. A jackhammer splits the asphalt. Construction cranes dance. Roofs majestically collapse to make way for swarms of construction workers erecting new walls. A food festival appears. Street artists paint graffiti, the camera catches a couple making out. Reflections in the commentary give these dynamic images an unexpectedly disturbing significance. It’s a fascinating composition in counterpoint.
This is the second movie Thomas Imbach has filmed from his window. Over seven years, he documented the replacement of Zurich’s old railway station by a police station and prison on 35mm film. By playing with time and film speed, using both panoramic views and candid close-ups, Imbach gives the images a tragicomic, almost surreal touch, and reveals a plethora of detail.
Testimonials from rejected asylum seekers, who are soon to make up the majority of the detainees here, create a different perspective. Where trains once connected Zurich to the world, the strict security regime of a new era will soon take over.