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The Anatomy of Evil

 
The Anatomy of Evil

(Ondskabens Anatomi ) Director: Ove Nyholm, DÁN, 2005, anglické titulky, 90 min

It seemed that after the Second World War - and with the memory of the Holocaust - Europe would never again become the site of mass execution. But after the events of Lubny in Ukraine, where on one October day two thousand Jews were killed, decades later there was Srebrenica.

This film essay presents those who personally played a part in European genocides. It attempts to throw light on the forces of brutality that led these people now living ordinary lives to commit mass murder.

Testimony is presented from members of Serbian militia groups and two leaders of the so-called Einsatzgruppe, which operated on the Eastern front, where more than a million people were killed over two years by four of the group's units.

Some of the men took participation in the film as an opportunity to defend themselves or express regret. Others just describe the mechanics of murder, as though their statements about the deeds of a soldier were meant to contribute to the records of history. The former leader of a German commando group describes how effectively they performed their work: women were forced to hold their children against their chest so that two people could be killed with one bullet.

The film's refrain is a journey through landscape, filmed in a slow, dreamy motion. Impassive nature gives the film an elegiac tone, and asking about the nature of evil, in the end it turns the question around: How would I behave in a similar situation, would I behave differently than these murderers?

(Petr Kubica - MFDF Jihlava)

The partner of the screening is International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava


 

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