In abstract and sometimes deliberately alienating treatments of archival material, Eyal Sivan and Rony Brauman's Specialist (1999) and Romuald Karmakar's Himmler Project (2000) engage in impressive reconcretizations of Hannah Arendt's concept of the “banality of evil.” Both directors thoroughly inscribe their Nazi perpetrators into contemporary settings, presenting them, in Boris Groys's terms, as heroes of the present age. This article examines how each director relies on stylizations of trial footage, which is here digitally manipulated, as well as on the reenactment of Heinrich Himmler's recorded Posen speech to integrate sounds and images from the past into the present.
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© 2014 by New German Critique, Inc.
Issue Section:German Memory and the Holocaust: New Films