Official statement of the Verband der deutschen Filmkritik e.V. (Association of German Film Critics) (October 23, 2016)

On behalf of the public hearing at the Ausschuss für Kultur und Medien (Committee on cultural and media affairs) of the German Bundestag on October 19, the Verband der deutschen Filmkritik e.V. (VdFk, Association of German Film Critics) has published a statement requiring the Bundestag not to delay the preservation of German film heritage any further.
In the context of this statement, the VdFk also criticizes the disposal of historical films at the hands of the archives themselves:
“Until now, German archives have been negligent towards the first half of cinematic history which exists, for the most part, on nitrate film. Original items were destroyed after digitization, or they were quietly transferred to foreign archives. However, the head of the Restoration Department of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation just recently demonstrated with the example of the disposed camera negative of Josef von Baky’s Münchhausen (1943) the irredeemable damage that the established policy has caused.”
The VdFk make a number of demands among which one in particular deserves support on behalf of the German nitrate holdings. The VdFk demands “a legally binding directive obliging the archives to refrain from destroying film artifacts unless their state of degradation has to be regarded as a threat by international standards.
The statement can be viewed here.

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