Keimena #16: Angriff auf die Demokratie – Eine Intervention (Democracy Under AttackAn Intervention)
by Romuald Karmakar

Monday April 3, 2017, 24:00 on ERT2
Angriff auf die Demokratie – Eine Intervention (Democracy Under AttackAn Intervention), 2012, Germany, 102 min.
Director: Romuald Karmakar

In December 2011, ten German intellectuals met in Berlin to discuss the current political crisis: how democracy had been undermined, weakened, hollowed out, and perverted by the so-called free market and its functions.

Each participant was given ten minutes to make her or his contribution. Nine gave a talk; one presented a film. This was Romuald Karmakar, one of Germany’s most outspoken and provocative filmmaker-artists. To preserve this moment in the nation’s intellectual life, Karmakar made a film about the gathering. He mainly used the material recorded by the organizers; that these were full of technical problems became part of the film’s aesthetic.

This attitude is typical of Karmakar’s work. Respect for the reality of a situation is one the ideals that animate his art; if this means that a zoom-in on a face is shaky, or that an image is out of focus, then this is how that moment felt to the person who made that image. In 2012, the film was perceived as a clarion call for progressive forces to take up a fight they had avoided for too long. Seen now, Democracy Under Attack – An Intervention can also be understood as a document of the left-wing establishment’s failings. It can also be understood on an international scale. Some of the reasons for Brexit, and the election of a bad businessman to the United States’ highest office, can be found in this major work of political art.

—Olaf Möller, film critic, writer and curator

Posted in Public TV on 04.03.2017