How do we behave at memorials and on historical ground? Director Sergei Loznitsa offers us an insight into collective behavior, with help from observing film cameras. Tons of tourists pour in and out of the camera viewfinder. They are visiting the former concentration camps Dachau and Sachsenhausen. The cold, mechanical camera eye doesn’t judge or interpret. It’s up to us – the viewers – to understand what the tourists are looking for and thinking about. Is their behavior appropriate for memorial sites like this?
In AUSTERLITZ, past and present are merged naturally. We are aware of the genocide that happened in the camps. Today the sites are crowded with tourists using smartphone cameras and audio guides. AUSTERLITZ is also a film about looking: We look at the tourists. They look at the remains of the camps. What are we all looking for?