GUEST: ZACHARIAS ZITOUNI
first in first out
Zacharias Zitouni, D 2019, 26 min, OmeU
A man works in a canteen kitchen at an airport. A letter posted there reads: “Dear colleagues, I kindly ask you to cater the following deportation flight …” As instructed, the man encloses only plastic cutlery. He insists he is happy. The man’s son is offended by this normality and involves the mother, who reports from off-screen: How the man and father was unexpectedly arrested 25 years earlier while grocery shopping. How he himself was once flown out of the same airport to Algeria after months of back and forth between pre-trial detention, solitary confinement and deportation. 15 year old family vacation pictures, recorded with a camcorder, alternate with current shots of the working father. And even though the camera used has remained the same, today it produces only patchy images that look as if they have been attacked. “Do you want to tell something else?” asks the son. The father replies: “That I love you? Yes! Nothing more.”
GUEST: STEFAN RIPPLINGER (PROTAGONIST)
Stefan Hayn, D 2019, 76 min, OmdU
Robert Antelme, French writer and communist, falls into the clutches of the Gestapo in June 1944. Months of exploitation, humiliation and deliberate dehumanization followed: first in the Buchenwald concentration camp, later in the Gandersheim outpost and finally as a survivor of a weeks-long death march to the Dachau concentration camp, where he was liberated. As early as 1947, he wrote the book »L’espèce humaine«, which included a passage on the deadly effects of stealing bread, which was punished among the prisoners. In addition, under the title »Vengeance«, an appeal to his compatriots not to give in to the obvious revenge against the German aggressors. The film calls the setting it has chosen of the verbatim recitation of the original French texts a »lecture filmée«. And so the passage on bread theft is clearly audibly spoken by native German speakers. They stand in a large, disturbing room: once a monastery church, later the collective accommodation of French prisoners in the concentration camp Bad Gandersheim, today the museum »Klosterkirche Brunshausen«. Equipped with Antelme’s reflections, one may not imagine what this room could be in the future within a very short time.