What Farocki Taught | Chicago Reader

What Farocki Taught

Jill Godmilow describes this half-hour short as a precise remake, in color and English, of Harun Farocki's 1969 black-and-white German film Inextinguishable Fire. Farocki's powerful film describes Dow Chemical's development and manufacture of Napalm B and the effects of its use during the Vietnam war. By adroitly remaking the film three decades later Godmilow wants to call attention to a model of political filmmaking, though one might argue that she runs into trouble when she describes her own work as “agitprop” in the same sense that Farocki's was: after all, he was addressing a contemporary issue, and in a sense her kind of political filmmaking is yet another excuse for avoiding our current problems. On the other hand, Godmilow does a fine job of stirring the pot, and this fascinating intervention is bound to generate some interesting debate.

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