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Directed by Harun Farocki

West Germany 1989 74 mins. In German

In 1944, at the height of the Nazi threat, the US military planned to bomb an IG Farben industrial plant, which happened to be next to Auschwitz. This fact, only noticed 30 years later through examination of aerial maps, leads Farocki into an extended treatise on the power of visual machines and constructed imagery on what we do and don’t see, and how this shapes our complicity. The film is unsettlingly effective in laying out these visual dynamics: “One must be just as wary of pictures as of words. There is no literature without linguistic criticism, without the author being critical of the existing language. It’s just the same with film. One need not look for new, as yet unseen images, but one must work with existing ones in such a way that they become new.”—Jörg Becker.