Past as Process: Redrawing the Past
In their animations and colorful subtitles, these films toast the tellings of history with subjective points of view.
Memory Boxes (2019) Dir. Hamze Bytyçi
Germany. 9 minutes.
To protect himself from the trauma of the past, Zoni Weisz blocked all of his family memories. Not just the horrible memories of their deportation to Auschwitz and the empty apartment left behind, but also the beautiful ones: of his little sister’s coat, the forest, and his aunt’s caravan. Based on Weisz’s memoir The Forgotten Holocaust
, this short animated film, produced by RomaTrial e. V. and the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, visualizes the emotional side of Weisz’s harrowing journey from Dutch Sinto Holocaust survivor to activist.
Home? (2018) Dir. Elliot Blue
Germany. 18 minutes.
Blue moves from small-town Germany to the capital city of Berlin. Through stream-of-consciousness musings to their diary and hand-drawn animation, the short documentary inscribes with what is outside of the frame: the colonial history and context to Black life in Europe. A humorous and infectious declaration of unrequited love to Germany.
Duvarlar – Mauern – Walls (1991) dir. Can Candan
Turkey/Germany. 85 minutes.
In German, Turkish, and English with English subtitles.
Made just two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Duvarlar – Mauern – Walls
shapes the past through oral histories that show the vast diversity of arrival stories in Germany. Through personal interviews, the documentary tells the remarkable stories of how Turkish intellectuals, artists, and guest workers created a home for themselves in Germany to make a significant contribution to German business and culture. Candan’s provocative personal refections: “How does a foreigner become an immigrant?” and colorful subtitles punctuate the intimate perspectives in this timeless film.