Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited
Documentary, 2020, 70 min, digital
Original title: Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited
Language: English and Bosnian with English subtitles
Director: Clarissa Thieme
Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains / Re-visited is a re-encounter with the places and landscapes that played the leading role in Thieme’s earlier film, Was bleibt | Šta ostaje | What remains (Berlinale 2010): sites of war crimes in the 1990s in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ten years later, Thieme returns – with those past recordings in tow. The new work is an experimental filmic inquiry that invites interactions from locals without coercing them. The result is a careful approach to the places as well as the people there, permeated by the questions of what was, what is, and how one can speak about it.
“In each of the locations Thieme and her team unfold a life-size transparency with a still from the earlier, 2010 film. 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 others. 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. […] 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.” –Jan Verwoert