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Friederike Anders «The Color Brown»
Friederike Anders, «The Color Brown», 1994
© Friederike Anders

 Friederike Anders
«The Color Brown»

A documentary essay in several time loops rotating in reverse. A psychoanalytical examination of the deep roots of the German national character using selected examples that surface. A textual adventure-cum-collage containing excerpts from TV news programmes, home video recordings and references to traditional childrens' storybooks and school textbooks. The piece interweaves the following parallel levels: a) the real story of a case of arson at an asylum-seekers' hostel in Rostock in 1992 and b) a loosely-structured series of interviews and encounters with my father and my aunt. At the cutting edge between the two strands of investigation lies the subject of shit. The ‘brown stuff' surfaces in a double-role, as both an anal metaphor for cleanliness, order and having fun under a ‘brown' (i.e. Nazi) regime as well as a carefully-placed motif for current racist excesses (as in the phrase: ‘Brown-skinned foreigners who crap on German lawns').
Appearing in the midst of this tightrope-walk between politically-correct montage and embarrassing revelation is the image of a Dachshund. It is this picture which appears at the beginning and end of the film. Just like the bad dog ‘Waldi' from the childrens' book, this Dachshund embodies the ‘delightfully horrible' sight of another's excrement as well as the pleasures to be had from laying down the law, prohibiting and obeying . . .


Friederike Anders