Status and Terrain

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Status and Terrain

Directed by Ute Adamczewski

  • Germany 2019; 120 min
  • Original version: German
  • Genre: Documentary
    • First Film Award - FID Marseille


Images of streets, houses, castles and fortresses in Saxony contrast with bureaucratic correspondence, diary entries, literary fragments, all narrated in voice-over. Initially, they date from 1933, and the main topic is the search for, and later the organisation of, ‘protective custody’ and concentration camps, the suppression and resistance of political opposition, and traumatic experiences. Gradually, new layers of time are added – 1945, 1977, 1990, 2011 – and with them the discourses of the culture of remembrance: the representation of these events, the erection of monuments, the definition of the term ‘victim of fascism’. What we’re seeing is at odds with what we’re hearing as the present-day existence of the places depicted contrast with their uses and interpretations in the various historical layers set out in the soundtrack. STATUS AND TERRAIN is not just about places which, right from the outset, became part of a web-like fascist infrastructure during the Nazi era. Later on – after the Second World War, after the end of the GDR, in the pan-German contemporary presence of the NSU (National Socialist Underground)– they also became contested spaces of an interpretation prerogative over history and the legitimising of political lines. What emerges is the feeling of a past that insists on and persists into the present, where history becomes palpable as historical layers and where, in every image, points and spaces in time multiply and insist on their presence in the here and now.