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The aurochs were a breed of wild cattle indigenous to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Extinct since the early 17th century, these majestic, horned beasts have long held a mythological status, believed to embody supernatural powers. In the early 20th century, German scientists began a series of attempts to resurrect the species under the auspices of the Nazi regime; such experiments continue today in various forms. Berlin-based filmmakers Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy use this history to fashion a poetic and deadpan 16mm work of fanciful nonfiction that calls attention to itself as a constructed version of a strange reality.
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Screening with Her Name Was Europa:
A Night at the Opera
Sergei Loznitsa, 2020, France, 19m
Digging once again into the deep archives of 20th-century audiovisual history, Sergei Loznitsa crafts this elegant, ironic mini-portrait of the galas of Paris’s Palais Garnier in the 1950s and ’60s. With his typically masterful use of montage and a minutely reconstructed soundtrack, Loznitsa revisits a sociopolitical microcosm that features adoring crowds and glimpses of Bardot, Cocteau, and Queen Elizabeth II amid the pomp and ceremony of Parisian high society.
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