Presented here for the first time in English translation is one of Harun Farocki’s earliest publications in the journal Filmkritik, of which he later became editor. Composed largely of quotations, Farocki’s text reports on film courses at the Wannseeheim Youth Center, a form of adult and alternative education in Berlin West. The introduction to Farocki’s text connects with the New German Cinema and themes that remained central throughout his own work: collaboration and quotation, Bertolt Brecht’s concept of “learning plays,” using nonfiction to explore both social relations and the cinematic apparatus, and seeing film as a form of “productive thinking.” It represents a kernel of Farocki’s wish to put the tools of filmmaking into the hands of ordinary people, thus revealing both theoretical aspects of the cinematic apparatus itself and the interweaving of visual images with social relations. With a deadpan, whimsical tone, Farocki argues that all this is, or should be, film criticism—in German, Filmkritik.

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