À pas aveugles, imágenes clandestinas para hacer memoria
por Fabien Lemercier
- El segundo largometraje de Christophe Cognet, producido por L’atelier documentaire y vendido por mk2 Films, tendrá su estreno mundial en el Forum de la Berlinale
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
For some fifteen years now, Christophe Cognet has been working on pictures taken in secret and at risk of death by deportees in Nazi camps. And after the drawings and watercolours of Parce que j’étais peintre (revealed in the Cinema XXI section of Rome Film Fest 2013), it is these very photos which form the focus of Cognet’s second documentary feature From Where They Stood [+lee también:
ficha de la película], which has been selected for the Forum section of the 71st Berlinale and will be unveiled online, in a world premiere, during the festival’s Industry Event (running 1 – 5 March).
In Dachau, Buchenwald, Mittelbau-Dora, Ravensbrück, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, a number of deportees managed to take clandestine photos of their surrounds. Given the great efforts that these women and men went to in order to pass these images on to us, we owe it to them to take a look, and this is the subject-matter explored by the filmmaker, which he has also set out in a book by the name of Éclats (Éditions Seuil – 2019).
When interviewed in 2018, during the writing residencies organised by Ty Films, Christophe Cognet explained the origins of his long-term interest in "the relationship between images and horror, camps, and war" (he also directed L’Atelier de Boris in 2004 and Quand nos yeux sont fermés in 2005): "I’m part of that generation who were shown Night and Fog at school. It’s a film that didn’t just affect me, it stunned me (…) This new film is called À pas aveugles (lit. ‘advancing blindly’) because I realised that most of these photos hadn’t been seen by their photographers as they took them. For example, the camera belonging to a photographer who was in Buchenwald, Georges Angeli, was hidden against his stomach, in newspapers, so he didn’t look into the viewfinder when taking his photos. It’s the same for other photos too, some of the most famous ones, those taken in Birkenau by members of a group of gas chamber special commandos: one or two were taken without looking, from what we can make out". The director analyses these clandestine images with the same intent displayed in Éclats: "placing them within their context with the knowledge we have available today, but without prejudging what they show or what they have to say."
From Where They Stood is produced by Raphaël Pillosio on behalf of Bordeaux-based group L’atelier documentaire, and co-produced by Robert Cibis for German firm OVALmedia. Benefitting from an advance on receipts from the CNC and supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine (production aid) and Ile-de-France (post-completion assistance) regions, the feature film is sold worldwide by mk2 Films.
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