Director’s statement for the film “Etterkrigstid”
Written in correlation with the release of the film “Etterkrigstid”.
How far does the grasp of a history not lived reach?
"Etterkrigstid" is an exploration of the character Daniel. Through his routines, tasks and meetings in a single day, there are a number of circumstances and an oncoming crisis presented to the viewer. Where does this crisis start to form and what propels it further?
The process of this film was much influenced by research on the history and lineage of trauma, specifically in terms of the Holocaust. Yet I believe the character wouldn't have to be Jewish for this story to be told. The contemporary state of Jewish heritage and assimilation in Norway is a point of interest, yes, but, in some ways, it's also incidental. What I'm trying to comment on is largely concerned with a whole society; history and trauma affecting every day and everyone.
I find truth in the temporality of films: this work is an exercise in the linearity of time, but also pinpointing toward the mundanity of an individual's 'every day'. The way the hours awake can consist of a series of rituals in sequence - made from plans and from necessities - and how these actions create comfort, yet also conceal unbearable things.
A question rises to why this film is linked with thinking through the term 'post-war'. Daniel is a character
of privilege: A white, well-connected and moderately wealthy city-dweller. And yet his circumstances, it turns out, are complicated and affected byheavy history, where the city only operates as an extension of his isolating apartmen and where his circumstances are of discomfort. Then there is the unspoken, which I believe permeates this work, and life: The anxiety of the past never letting go and, thus, creating uncertainty for the future.
What is important, then, is to be intentional and reflect that notion of uncertainty: Who’s gaze are we observing the film through, especially in its disruptions? Who’s recording the clips in the first and last image? I don’t really know, but there is value in what is not articulated and I’ve consciously put these questions in, despite mostly working with a strict, linear progression, in terms of the story.
Lastly, I can’t escape this film being about me and those I know. Whilst true I’ve always found viewing cinema a great potential for empathy, so I try to make that an ideal for the production, as well. I don't claim to know a Jewish experience, but I strive to understand through filmmaking and fuel the work with a curiosity for what I don't know.