27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
director: Hartmut Bitomsky
original title: Deutsche Trilogie: Reichsautobahn
country: West Germany
running time: 90 min.
synopsisThe middle part of the German Trilogy, which also includes Deutschlandbilder (1983) and Der VW Komplex (1989), documents the construction of a monumental motorway across Germany. A massive “marketing campaign” surrounded the project, featuring a concrete monument with aesthetic power similar to Leni Riefenstahl's bodies of male and female athletes in The Triumph of the Will. Bitomsky edited an narrated archive collage that reveals how the media image of Nazi Germany was created. The motorway, which branched like concrete veins through the landscape, was meant to symbolize economic growth and the building of a better future. It represents the rise and fall of a megalomaniacal vision that was ended by the Second World War.
“When you can make a documentary, you do two things, to look at the world and to create the image of it. These things are never the same, the image is the image, the world is the world.”
biographyHartmut Bitomsky (* 1942) is a German film director, critic, and teacher. Together with his classmate Harun Farocki, he was expelled from the German Film and Television Academy in 1968 for political activism, but returned to the Academy as its director between 2006 and 2009. From 1974 to 1985 he wrote for the magazine Filmkritik. In 1974 he founded Big Sky Film Productions. In the 1980s Bitomsky made a series of documentaries under the title The German Trilogy.
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