What Farocki Taught

1998 | 00:30:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Experimental Film, History, Politics, War

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What Farocki Taught is literally and stubbornly a remake — that is, a perfect replica in color and in English, of Harun Farocki’s black and white, 1969 German language film, Inextinguishable Fire.

Taking as its subject the political and formal strategies of Farocki’s film about the development of Napalm B by Dow Chemical during the Vietnam War, Godmilow’s unabashedly perfect copy reopens Walter Benjamin’s discussion of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. What Farocki Taught thus becomes an agit-prop challenge to the cinema verité documentary’s representation of information, history, politics, and “real” human experience.

In an epilogue to her remake, Godmilow prods contemporary filmmakers towards the original film’s political stance and strategies, emphasizing its direct audience address and refusal to produce the “compassionate voyeurism” of the classic documentary cinema.

"As reconfigured by Godmilow, the film is intellectually rigorous and emotionally frightening — a ferocious, committed, important historical/political tract for the amnesiac '90s.”

— Gerald Peary, International Film Festival Rotterdam (1998)

Exhibitions + Festivals

Impakt Organisation (The Netherlands), 1998

Impakt Organisation (The Netherlands), 1999