THE NATURAL HISTORY OF DESTRUCTION
Sergei Loznitsa / Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania / 2022 / 80 min
The bombing of German cities and civilians during World War II, inspired by W.G. Sebald through black-and-white archive footage by the brilliant Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa.
At the end of the Second World War, civilians suddenly become a target in their own right for the first time. Allied air raids on Germany kill hundreds of thousands of civilians and leave their homes in ruins. Hyper-prolific filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa shows us the tragedy of exploiting civilians as a means of warfare. The images of a bombing in the middle of the night shine like stars in the sky. But while the black-and-white archival footage occasionally shows us a twisted beauty, the film never forgets the underlying destruction and horror of the attacks. ‘The Natural History of Destruction’ is inspired by German author W.G. Sebald’s book of the same name, and it is a painfully timely and historically important work about the endless consequences of war on civilians.