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185 Ratings

The Inextinguishable Fire

Nicht löschbares Feuer

Directed by Harun Farocki
West Germany, 1969
Documentary, Short, Action


The Inextinguishable Fire offers a minimalist but precise 25 minutes on the subject of the manufacture and effects of napalm.

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The Inextinguishable Fire Directed by Harun Farocki
Inextinguishable Fire, while on the surface didactic, is full of emotion, not in a visceral or emotive way, but rather in terms of rage; a rage that is contained yet clearly spoken. Whether [Farocki] was looking at a commercial photographer manipulate objects in order to create the image of publicity or was filming workers making clay bricks in various parts of the world, I never felt that there was a cold or detached vision on the screen, although I always recognized a very controlled one.
September 30, 2014
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Even when austerity seemed to reign and the films adhered to a dry intellectualism, Farocki was prone to rebellious flashes, none more punk than as in The Inextinguishable Fire, when he promptly put out a cigarette butt on his arm, ingeniously bridging the gap between the unimaginable reality in Vietnam and the disarming presence in the cinema.
September 21, 2014
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With INEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE, his Brechtian analysis of Dow Chemical’s insidiously bureaucratic development of napalm, Farocki is skeptical that a direct reveal of the atrocities of napalm’s effects is a sufficient agitator for change. Relying on making a metaphor—a cigarette burn—visible as a metaphor, Farocki instead forces the viewer to connect a very real sensation with the outsized pain of a victim of napalm.
January 31, 2014
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