• Deimantas  Narkevicius, Into the Unknown, 2009

The film is a co-production of the British Film Institute and Goethe Institute as part of a project entitled Building Memory – Four Films About Architecture, Monuments, and Community. Into the Unknown is a reedited version of a historical footage from the famous DEFA film studio in the GDR, found in the archives of German television. The material is socialist propaganda, presenting the charms of life in the GDR. The soundtrack, however, is not the film’s original and hence disturbs the idealized image of the well balanced life of workers and intellectuals in a paradise, introducing the schizophrenic mood which was, in any case, the quotidian experience of people subject to the concentrated impact of propaganda.

The points of reference and symbols important for the inhabitants of Eastern Germany began to disappear 20 years ago. However, the questions posed by the film go beyond the experience of the places which had witnessed the fall of communism. After all, is this impermanence of symbols and elusiveness of images true only in the case of former socialist countries? There is one more thing: the propaganda images devoid of ideological content (e.g. by taking away their original soundtrack) become visually attractive. Thus again we are faced with the question about cinematic language, about the visual tools which we use or, finally, about the complex nature and attractiveness of propaganda.

Year: 2009
Medium: 35 mm film (found footage) transferred onto a HD Video Blu-Ray disc
Format: 19:45

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Deimantas Narkevicius
Index: MSN: 4300-9/2009
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

See also