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From Dachau With Love

Director: Bernd Fischer

2002. English subtitles. Colour. Beta SP video. 90 mins.


The little Bavarian town of Dachau is infamous throughout the world as the site of the first Nazi concentration camp. Nearly sixty years after World War II, the place remains trapped in an eternal Nazi time loop. This doesn’t stop many of Dachau’s citizens from trying to promote the town as a tourist attraction by fighting a hopeless-and typically German-battle to keep the past at bay. In 2001, for example, they attended Berlin’s International Tourism Fair to promote Dachau’s annual Beetroot Festival! Filmmaker Bernd Fischer, who spent his teenage years growing up in Dachau, returned to produce this fascinating, sympathetic and tragically funny study of his birthplace. His guides in this ‘tourist video with a twist’ are a group of charismatic townspeople who take him on a trip through their own personal Dachau. We meet former prisoners, ex-politicians, the ‘Don Quixote of Dachau’, the son of a former concentration camp guard, and the landlord of a strange pub. What Fischer observes is at times absurd, occasionally downright bewildering, but often very moving.

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