Wolff von Amerongen: Did he commit bankruptcy offences?
While his Knittelfeld – A Town without a History records history as a rush of events from an infamous life, Friedl´s first full-length film shows us global capital in its roars and ecstasies, its infamy and delinquency. Capital is global as an all-embracing relationship connecting places, individuals, objects, images and words, and at the same time a non-relationship, an "audiovisual gap" between the pedantic voice-over and what the camera pans past without reaction.
The history of West Germany, with Thyssen and Flick, with names of economic dynasties that sound fictitious, with foibles, dirty tricks and dubious business deals, is not presented as a legend, a glorious success story, or "explained": Capital remains infamous, without a history and smelling to high heaven. Doing business entails dirty hands, and crimes do not necessarily stand in the way of success. Proceeding from this inextricability, Friedl relies on our paranoia (in every scene we search for something that might relate to what´s being said) and that a "fading" will become tangible: that of the film over time, like that of power in the course of history. Nothing fades completely: Ghosts appear, memory forms. Some things seem deep frozen for links to be established later. We learn of the success Rudolf August Oetker´s empire built on pudding has with his book "Joy through Baking", and that his slogan was "Freedom means work." Or was that "Strength through joy" ("Kraft durch Freude") and "Work will set you free" ("Arbeit macht frei")?
At times the audiovisual gap becomes so narrow that what is said and what is visible correspond for an obscene moment. Otherwise, pans and audio brush against one another, miss each other completely or provide reciprocal commentary in such a way that three workbenches resemble three busts, the graffiti "Fuck" looks like "Flick", the gambler´s paradise Monaco a historical amusement park celebrating free enterprise. (Drehli Robnik)
Hat Wolff von Amerongen Konkursdelikte begangen?
Gerhard Benedikt Friedl