Artforum

Eternal return
Travis Jeppesen

ONE MORNING IN 1992, in a cornfield in northeastern Germany just over the Polish border, two Romany men, illegal immigrants from Romania, were shot and killed by local hunters who supposedly mistook them for wild boar. Investigation of the case was shoddy. Neither of the victims’ families was informed that a trial took place. The two killers were deemed innocent. Twenty years later—in a time when the two would be considered citizens of the European Union—director Philip Scheffner carried out his own investigation, resulting in Revision, one of the highlights of this year’s DocLisboa. Scheffner uses a brilliant technique, allowing each of his subjects to listen to an audio playback of his or her testimony and approve or revise it in front of the camera. As the film probes, a picture of a racist and xenophobic region emerges. Around the same time, a nearby refugee center had to be evacuated after it was burned down by Molotov cocktail–wielding neo-Nazis supported by local residents—an event that the police didn’t feel compelled to stop. None of those participants was even arrested, let alone brought to justice.
I’m not sure which idiot on the Nobel committee came up with the idea of awarding this year’s Peace Prize to the EU. Revision underscores the absurdity of the decision—it’s a bit like offering Switzerland an award for financial transparency.(...)