There are so many questions that hang over this little project, relating in particular to memory and to the passage of time, to imaging technologies and to post-catastrophe aesthetics. You can see the clip here, produced by the BBC. Hovering in and out and over Auschwitz, the drone lends a floating quality to the camera. Dull grey, green, black, brown, brick, and white with a haunting musical score.
Too pretty? I’m not sure. To be sure, without dissonance, but also without the melodrama that a more dissonant scene and score would have provoked. Filmed in full color, the site has been given a quiet, horrid dignity. At various points in the film, the camera spins a gentle circle over a particular part of the place, as if to linger.
This is what you do with drone photography, gliding slowly through and over a physical site without getting set in a fixed point perspective. The kinetic effect speaks to memory. By way of criticism, I would have liked something more analytic, footage that lays out the larger topography of the site. In particular, I would have wanted to see the spatial relation between Auschwitz I and Birkenau, how the two camps were situated vis-à-vis each other, anatomically.