For Joshua Engel the topic of Yugoslavian prisoners in Norway definitely wasn’t completely new: in 2015 he was playing „Das Spiel von Dina und Jovan” on stage. In the center of that theatre project stood the story of two Holocaust survivors from the former Yugoslavia. It turned out, that the father of Jovan, one of the protagonist of the play, was shot in Jajinci, his mother and brother were captured in Saimište and killed in a gas truck – the two places that we can see in the film. So, for Joshua one project intertwined with another one and led him all the way to Serbia.
The footages, some of which were made by Lisa Haucke, show us the road to and from Serbia, the remains of the camps in Belgrade. One moment of the film is intentionally accented – the picture of a corridor in the former Sajmište camp is recurring back and forth like in a loop. This is impressive not only because of its past, but also because of its future. These buildings are about to be made into flats for poor people, which is highly arguable.
„In Germany it would probably become a memorial site, a place, where no one could live,” said Joshua.
The main character of the film is Franz De Martin, who was SS-officer in Beisfjord. His story is quite remarkable, because he early became the member of the Austrian National Socialist Party and the SS, often in trouble because of his drinking-habits and violence. He was not some kind of a monster from fairytales; he was one of many people, who could fulfill their violent potential due to special circumstances.
Joshua wanted to confront with his film the idea, that „now we came so far away from it, analysed it all, so this will never be able to happen to us again, that we are much more mature. And through our analysis of National Socialism we have more power to oppose it. I wanted to undermine this point of view, to show that this is maybe not like this. There is a swing to the right-wing politics in Germany and in other European countries too. I think there is a danger in it and one has to be aware of it and to handle accordingly“.