D: Juliane Henrich, Germany 2016, 61 min, OV with English subtitles
Why does “the West” mean something beyond the cardinal direction? The film essay From the West opens with this child’s question, then goes on to retrace how “the West” inscribed itself in the Federal Republic of Germany’s postwar society. Long panning shots through West German cities alternate with interior footage of a house being cleared out and long drives down highways to the rhythm of music inspired by evening news theme tunes. The narrator shifts among reflections on modern architecture, detailed scenes from childhood, and a the memory of her parents’ membership in a 1970s communist splinter group. The rallying point is the single-family home – which Konrad Adenauer once touted as a bastion against the East and which Engels, much earlier, had decried as a tool for quashing rebellion. For all its deconstruction, “the West” also appears in the film as a site of childhood longing.
D: Nishikawa Tomonari, Japan 2016, 10 min, no dialogue
Ten Mornings Ten Evenings and One Horizon shows ten bridges on Yahagi River, which runs near where the filmmaker grew up in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Yahagi River has about 70 bridges. The bridge in the first shot is the closest to the source of the river, and the last bridge is the last one before the river merges into the ocean.