Is a war ever truly over? Battles reveals a past that is still present. The film achieves this through patiently observing the traces left behind by recent conflicts in the landscapes and communities at four different sites across Europe.
A bomb, a bunker, a tank, a soldier – four archetypes of warfare lead us chapter by chapter to places in Europe where conflicts have occurred in the recent past. We discover the transformation of people, objects and landscapes after demilitarisation. An old man in a land swamped with bunkers, scenes of a bizarre prison camp at night, the last moments of antique explosives, an army of women working on inflatable artillery. Traces of militarisation that find a place in everyday life, while also revealing the relationship between the two.
The ﬁlm’s meticulous cinematography and sound design work together to build a haunting atmosphere, taking us to a twilight world where past and present, war and play, threat and innocence intersect. Battles is a compelling exploration of the ways in which the effects of war continue to echo long after the battle has ended.
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