Displaced Person

1981 | 00:10:15 | United States | English | B&W | Stereo | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Documentary, Found Footage, History, Jewish, War

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This film uses the ‘old fashioned’ conventions of documentary film practice to stand history on its head. There is a narration taken from a radio lecture by Claude Lévi-Strauss entitled, “The Meeting of Myth and Science,” images from the Deutsche Wochenshau of June 25, 1940 that recorded Hitler’s dawn visit to Paris, images from American newsreels, a movement from one of Beethoven’s Rasumovsky Quartets. The film could only succeed, in my mind, if the imprint of prior usage of all elements was clear. The film resides as a third-hand statement in a second-hand world, a world of received knowledge, encoded consciously and unconsciously by the spoken word, the framed image, and the interpreted musical phrase. History is received through others; this film was a method of unraveling the sources of that impossible condition, and of drawing attention to our passive complicity. Its precautionary warning is: keep thinking, even when you can’t understand.

-- Daniel Eisenberg, 1987

This title is only available on POSTWAR: The Films of Daniel Eisenberg.