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BERLIN BABYLON

Germany, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: Hubertus Siegert

"The Angel of History...sees a single catastrophe. Rubble piles up relentlessty, layers of it are hurled at his feet. He longs to linger, to wake the dead and reconstruct the rubble. But a storm has brewed in paradise." After this ominous quote by Walter Benjamin, writer-director Hubertus Siegert's monumental documentary takes us high above a Berlin undergoing massive reconstruction in the late 90s. Accompanied by a score courtesy of German avant guarde-ists and Nick Cave collaborators Einstuzende Neubaten, Siegerfs camera glides like a hawk over and through the streets of this massive project.

Four years of painstaking research and shooting has culminated in one of the most spectacular architectural documentaries of recent times. Scrutinising the personalities (or is that ego's?) of the architects, engineers, and visionaries involved in building the 'New Berlin'. The director provides astute insights into such undertakings as Renzo Piano's Potsdammer Platz, the largest construction site in history. A story of humankind's all consuming pride and ambition, Official Selection at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival.

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