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 ā€” obviously not realising the impact of his pictures on later generations ā€” 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.

IDFAcademy Summer School 2016 April 12, 2016 | The IDFAcademy Summer School has announced the sixteen selected projects for the 2016 edition of the week-long training program, held July 4-9.
IDFA Bertha Fund announces February 2016 selection April 5, 2016 | Eleven documentary projects from countries including Colombia, Kenya, Georgia and Iran will be supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund through its classic scheme. Another nine projects have been selected in the new IBF Europe category.
IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop announces 2016 tutors April 5, 2016 | The IDFA-Mediafonds Workshop 2016 will be tutored by filmmakers Petra Lataster-Czisch and Catherine van Campen. The deadline for entry is April 8.

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