A Victim’s Perspective is an ineffably haunting 11-hour film installation about the Auschwitz Death March which Erik Van Loon walked at 18 and 19 January 2005.
Exactly sixty years before 58.000 prisoners were forced to march this 63 km (40 miles) route in the bitter Polish winter under the most brutal circumstances to an evacuation station, where they would be transported to concentration and killing camps away from the front.
Some 20,000 are thought to have perished, due to underfeeding, exhaustion, cold (-20OC) and execution along this path. Erik Van Loon walked the same route, with a camera mounted to his body, from the gates of Auschwitz through now modern and unremarkable Polish towns and along ordinary streets and highways to the train station at Wodzislaw. The simplicity of the idea belies the enormity of the event it recalls.
The project can never truly recapitulate the experience, nor does it attempt to memorialize it traditionally; for Erik Van Loon it is unspeakable to lay any tribute on such horror. It is a silent commentary on all this–and more. A Victim’s Perspective is a profound reflection on committing the act of remembering and an indictment of the fact of forgetting. Walk with these ghosts a little. The more time one spends with the film, the more it reveals the questions that it asks.
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival