How to live in the FRG
Leben – BRD/How to Live in the FRG
West Germany-France, 1990, 16mm
Everywhere the incessant effort to be prepared for the emergency of “reality” can be felt. The film assembles out of a wealth of details a picture of a society in which childbearing and dying, crying and taking care of people, crossing streets and killing are taught and learned in state or private institutions. […] All together, the collected scenes appear to support the view that a mentality of insurance and providing for the future prevails in the FRG, a country in which happiness as well as misery are supposed to be disciplined by means of social techniques and freed from any measure of unpredictability. And yet How To Live In The FRG goes beyond such an interpretation. The participants in the games, tests, and therapy sessions are not degraded into pieces of evidence for some theory or other. They retain, to varying degrees, something of their dignity. This is a result of Farocki’s working method: he has edited the scenes in such a way that even the most nonsensical occurrences, as it were, explain themselves.
*Screening along with In Comparison (€5 ticket includes both films)