Two men, a nondescript space, some trees outside, a large glass table inside. These are the only visual elements in this minimalist reflection on human cruelty. Due to this pared-down approach, the focus lies entirely on the testimonies that director Selma Doborac has the actors Christoph Bach and Cornelius Obonya recite—separately, as if in an interrogation. Detached, without emotion, they recount experiences from an existence as a cog in a machine of mass destruction. These are monologues from the darkest recesses of human nature.
For the script, Doborac drew on historical sources (legal documents, testimonies stored in archives), but also on more philosophical considerations. Here and there, words and sentences pass by that are associated with the great tragedies of the 20th century—mass graves, “cockroaches,” gas chambers. But the outrages are disconnected from any specific history. They have merged into one single stream of mass violence, deeply engrained in humanity. The emotionless delivery makes the film even more moving.