Moscow is the starting point of this odyssey across the former Soviet Union and various former socialist states of eastern Europe. “Nobody has the intention of building a wall”: symbolic quotations from major turning points in the history of eastern Europe such as this, from Walter Ulbricht, are followed in quick succession by images of underground stations, universities, hotels, ministry buildings, residential complexes, monument ensembles and mural mosaics. To a backdrop of experimental electronic sounds, historic footage and audio recordings are also integrated. And yet all of this construction ends in demolition, whilst other structures are simply abandoned. The promises of the past, the ideals and values of socialism, are unable to stand the test of time.
The Russian capital and East Berlin are followed by Warsaw and Katowice, Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic, then Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Kosovo, Albania and Bulgaria, before Honcoop finally sets her sights on the Chinese megapolis Beijing. The filmmaker’s choice of different editors and film designers for the individual episodes gives each a character of its own and yet, nevertheless, when taken together they represent a wonderfully coherent whole. NaF