40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60208
Over nearly 50 years, German documentary filmmaker and essayist Harun Farocki (1944-2014) created more than 100 bold, playful, and cerebral films, videos, and installations. His astute and brilliant observations of the contradictions of German society, politics, and economics, and how these national issues are situated in a global context, quickly distinguished him as a unique and passionate critical voice in world cinema. The first program of the series, Europe is Burning, features several of Farocki’s earliest films, made at a time when his work was at its most overtly political.
The Words of the Chairman (1967) is an agit-prop “commercial” that demonstrates how words can be weapons as it skewers the Shah of Iran and his wife, who are presented as cartoonish figures. Their Newspapers (1968) grew out of the student protests against the Springer press group, whose newspapers were being criticized for their bias. White Christmas (1968) uses the iconic Bing Crosby song in a denunciation of the Vietnam War. One of Farocki’s most celebrated films and a masterpiece of essay filmmaking, Inextinguishable Fire (1969) concerns the manufacture of napalm, issues of labor and accountability, and the social, political, and corporate structures that normalize the horrors of war.