Status and Terrain

History/Society, Germany 2021

Ute Adamczewski's documentary ZUSTAND UND GELÄNDE tells the story of an escalation. The starting point of the film are the so-called wild concentration camps, which were set up immediately after the National Socialist seizure of power in March 1933 to eliminate political opponents and which have largely been forgotten today. ZUSTAND UND GELÄNDE is about the overwriting of the sites by time and how different political cultures of memory have inscribed themselves in them. The film links three successive periods of German history into a loose narrative in which violence plays an essential role in the assertion of power. Images of streets, homes, castles and palaces from Saxony meet off-screen bureaucratic correspondence, diary entries, literary fragments. At the beginning, they originate from 1933 and thematically revolve around the search for, and later the organization of, protective custody and concentration camps, the suppression or resistance of the political opposition, and traumatic experiences. Gradually, new layers of time are added - 1945, 1977, 1990, 2011 - and with them discourses of memory culture - the representation of these events, the establishment of monuments, the definition of the term "victims of fascism". Eye and ear are separated, the presence of the places in the image meets their use and interpretation in diverse, historical layers in the sound. Thus ZUSTAND UND GELÄNDE not only tells of places that became part of a net-like fascist infrastructure at the very beginning of National Socialism, but that later - after the Second World War, after the end of the GDR, in the all-German present of the NSU - became contested spaces of an interpretive sovereignty of history and legitimation of political lines. This gives rise to the oppressive feeling of an insistence of the past on a present, history becomes comprehensible as a layered thing, in every image the points in time and periods of time are multiplied and insist on their now.
120 min
HD
Starting at 12
Audio language:
German
Subtitles:
ArabicChineseEnglishFrenchGermanPortugueseRomanianRussianSpanish

Awards

Peter Weiss Award City of Bochum, 2022
Attention:Berlin 2020 Prize of the ecumenical jury
DOK.Leipzig 2019 Golden Dove

More information

Director:

Ute Adamczewski

Producer:

Ute Adamczewski

Original title:

Zustand und Gelände

Original language:

German

Format:

16:9 HD, Color

Age rating:

Starting at 12

Audio language:

German

Subtitles:

ArabicChineseEnglishFrenchGermanPortugueseRomanianRussianSpanish