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The Natural History of Destruction

Can civilian populations be targeted to achieve a war aim? Using archive material, Sergei Loznitsa tries to find an answer.

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

The Natural History of Destruction

Nighttime footage of a bombing, filmed from the bomber itself, shows a dark plain in the depths, lit up by countless lights - the explosions. It is an almost fairy-like spectacle, were it not for the fact that those lights mean devastation, death and destruction for the people living there.

Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa has already made several documentaries about the many black pages of our history. Many of his films consist of carefully pieced together archival material and this new film is no different. He based it on the collection of essays Luftkrieg und Literatur by German writer W.G. Sebald, in which he questions the lack of attention paid to the many German victims of the merciless Allied bombing of German cities during WWII.

Loznitsa asks the question: is it morally defensible to achieve a war goal at the expense of the civilian population? Given the current situation in Ukraine, a painfully topical question.

VPRO Cinema

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