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Xcèntric 2018

Peter Nestler (II). Biographies of objects

The CCCB's cinema


Second session in the diptych devoted to Peter Nestler, one of the foremost documentary filmmakers in post-war Germany, with an extensive body of work acclaimed by filmmakers such as Jean-Marie Straub, Harun Farocki and Hartmut Bitomsky.

Many of the films of Peter Nestler, like the ones presented in this session, focus on the history of work, production processes and working conditions; others look at immigration, the effects of industrialisation on rural areas, memory and ecology. All this with the close attention, at once poetic and political, that the filmmaker brings to his search for the essence of things.

In the seventies, Peter and Zsóka Nestler made a series of educational films for Swedish television that focused on craft-making. These “biographies of objects” are rigorous investigations into the history of working techniques, production processes, and materials. This selection presents three of these documentaries, which, despite their apparent simplicity, explore the relations between economics, politics, and history in glassblowing, paper production and iron ore extraction.

How to Make Glass (Manually), 1970, Sweden, 16 mm (Blu-ray screenings), 24 mins;

About the History of Paper, Pt. 1, 1972-73, Sweden, 16 mm, 24 mins;

Mining/Ironworks, Pt. 2, 1974-75, Sweden, 16 mm, 30 mins.

Copies courtesy of the Deutsche Kinemathek.


Directors: Peter Nestler

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2018

Related contents

Xcèntric. Programme January - February 2018

José Antongio Sistiaga, Peter Nestler, David Perlov, Leslie Thornton, Shellie Fleming, Pat O’Neill, Stan Brakhage, David Gatten Robert Beavers and Helga Fanderl are some of the filmmakers featured in our programme January- February 2018 of Xcèntric. 

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