And Europe Will Be Stunned
Yael Bartana received great international attention for the trilogy series And Europe Will be Stunned (2007 – 2011). The series, which includes the films Mary Koszmary (Nightmare) (2007), Mur i wieza (Wall and Tower) (2009), and Zamach (Assassination) (2011), centers on a young Polish politician’s call for the return of 3.3 million Jewish people who emigrated to Palestine. The films employ the same techniques of Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda films, combining fact and fiction with the past and the present. Opening film Mary Koszmary (Nightmares) is set in the ruins of Warsaw’s Stadion Dziesieciolecia (Decennial Stadium) where the politician Slawomir Sierakowski is identified and summons the return of the Jewish people from today’s Israel. The second film Mur I Wieza (Wall and Tower) we see the establishment of loyal and idealistic followers of Sierakowski and the Jewish Renaissance Movement. They build a barbed wire wrapped tower-and-stockade-style kibbutz that was a settlement method established and developed by Zionists in Palestine from 1936–39. The final film Zamach (Assassination) sees the assassination of Sierakowski by an unknown assailant, which solidifies the Jewish Renaissance Movement. The three films bring together images of past and present Israeli and Polish identities and imagines a dangerous future.