One morning in 1992, two men, both Romany illegal immigrants from Romania, are discovered dead in a cornfield in North-eastern Germany, just over the Polish border. The investigation is minimal and the official explanation is that the local hunters mistook the men for wild boar. The killers are acquitted and the victims’ families are never informed about the trial. Twenty years later, director Philip Scheffner carries out his own investigation, which results in Revision.
The film's title comes from a legal term: a 'revision' describes an action which contests a ruling, although not by reopening a case that is legally closed. Scheffner’s 'revision' is a strictly cinematic one which connects previously disparate places, individuals, and memories, and deconstructs the genre of investigative documentary in an attempt to organize the film as a space where the families of the two men can find some sense of justice. The unusual strategy devised by the filmmaker, namely the act of filming people while listening to their previous testimonies (to the same filmmaker), and particularly the possibility to reconsider or 'revise' them, plays a crucial role in this process which examines a past crime as both a cinematic and a political event: the two men - we are told in the film - are part of the almost 15,000 who, according to the figures provided by the NGO Fortress Europe, died at the border of the EU between 1988 and 2009. Documentary film takes over from disembodied statistics and adds a grain of humanity to the story of two deaths which were tacitly accepted by official European discourse.
Film screened under the aegis of the European Year of Citizens 2013.
13 March, 18:00, Cinemateca Eforie
"Rememberance and Future" Award, GoEast Film Festival, Germany, 2012
Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 2012
International Forum of New Cinema, Germany, 2012
Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Canada, 2012
Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg, Germany, 2012
Wiesbaden Dok Fest Munchen, Germany, 2012