Migrants, refugees, and the marginalized are pawns in the games of politics and propaganda. Paul Poet and Syllas Tzoumerkas’s films are devoted to their relationship with the authorities.
Foreigners Out! Schlingensief’s Container is an “insider” documentary film about one of the most notorious actions of an outstanding German artist. It is the year 2000, Austria. The “rightist” parties are sent to parliament with anti-immigration mandate, and the “far right” have the chance to enter a government. The European “left” is in shock. Taking up this challenge, the artist, director, and activist Christophe Schlingensief stages a radical political performance on the streets of Vienna.
He puts either real or ostensible refugees in a container house, set up in the heart of Vienna beside the opera house, making clear references to a concentration camp. Security cameras are installed within. The life of ten migrants anxious to get political asylum in Austria becomes a provocative reality show. His audience—the genuine Viennese public—are invited to decide online who should be the first to be deported from the country. This is a knockout game. A testing of the political unconscious of the Austrian people, of the “left”, the “right”, of any and all, while simultaneously being a projection of the “rightist” future of Europe taken to the level of the absurd, one which has turned out to be quite prophetic.
A Manifesto for the Un-Communal is a documentary essay, a video diary and a propaganda article that critically and poetically rethinks the concepts of “crisis”, “migration”, and “marginality”. Filmed in Germany, Israel, Greece, and Denmark, A Manifesto for the Un-Communal is an interweaving of the stories and voices of those who live contrary to the laws of the crowd and who consider no place on earth their home, resisting a sense of belonging to anything at all.
Foreigners Out! Schlingensief’s Container
Directed by Paul Poet. Austria, 2002. 90 min.
Manifesto for the Unnecessary
Directed by Syllas Tzoumerkas. Germany, Israel, 2017. 11 min.