Film Screening German Cinema Now! Clarissa Thieme’s "Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited"

Film Still "Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited" © Clarissa Thieme

Wed, 10/28/2020

5:00 PM - 11:00 PM


The monthly Goethe Pop Up Film Series supports artistic works that amplify the plurality of voices and experiences to inspire public dialogue.
The film screenings take place in partnership with  Northwest Film Forum Seattle
This month’s screening will take place online. Please register in advance and pay what you can. All ticket purchases support Northwest Film Forum. 
Registration About the film: 
Germany | 2020 | 70 minutes 

Films end. Biographies end. Life goes on. Can we break this law? Clarissa Thieme takes a stab at it. In Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited (2020), she travels to various cities and villages in Bosnia Herzegovina. She takes a single shot in each of the places where countless people have been raped, tortured, and murdered during the Bosnian War. Ten years ago, Thieme had been there already. Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains (2009, 2010 world premiere at Berlinale) showed these places without accompanying words. Each of the images questioned: Does the location give testimony to the horror, or does it stay silent?

Ten years later everything is different, or is it? In each of the places Thieme and her film team unfold a life-size transparent with a still from the preceding film from 2010. Sometimes this comparison of ‘now and then’ is simply a silent act of recognition. At other times it sparks conversation. Some are evasive, some full of lived-through memories. Who died where, is one of the questions. Who left to build a new existence elsewhere; who stayed; who returned – are some of the other. Between the lines and between the images it becomes clear: these topics haven’t been processed yet. And, how could they? It is difficult enough to keep on living.

At the same time the filmic intervention prompts a reaction: In front of Thieme’s camera momentary public spaces arise. The old images provoke exchange. This exchange takes the form of what the reacting people are giving it. The film does not unravel a mystery – it is doing something mysterious: It dives into a space between remembrance and continuation and interlocks retrospection with the present. The void is everywhere. And Thieme’s film is never finished. On the contrary, it proves that there is a chance to act through film. To be continued.

(Text: Jan Verwoert) 

About the filmmaker: 

Born in Oldenburg, Germany, Clarissa Thieme studied Media Art, as well as Cultural Studies, and Aesthetic Practice. Thieme works in the fields of film, photography, performance, installation, and text, combining documentary and fictional forms with a focus on the processes of memory, identity politics and strategies of translation.

Her work includes Was bleibt/Šta Ostaje/What Remains (film, 30′, 2010), The Place We Left (film, 60′, 2012), Resort (film, 15′, 2013), Die DDR hat es nie gegeben/Appell (Video, 4′, 2016), Izmedzu Nas/Between Us (open archive project, ongoing), Weiter war nichts, ist nichts (installation series, ongoing), Vremeplov/Time Machine (installation & performance, 2017), Today is 11th June 1993 (film, 13′, 2018), Can't You See Them/POV (installation, 2018), Can’t You See Them? - Repeat. (film, 8′ as well as installation, 2019), Was bleibt I Šta ostaje I What remains / Re-visited (film, 70’, 2020).