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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.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.