When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you’ll shut your eyes. You’ll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you’ll close them to the memory. And then you’ll close your eyes to the facts.
These words mark the beginning of Inextinguishable Fire (1969), among the earliest of over one hundred short experimental and documentary films within the oeuvre of German filmmaker Harun Farocki, who passed away on July 30, 2014.
The lines were read on camera by Farocki himself, and were from a statement given by Thai Bihn Dahn, a Vietnamese man who lived through the horrors of the Vietnam War. The film went on to examine the properties of napalm, the American company that manufactured it during the war, and the varying political views of weapons production among student activists, fabrication workers, engineers, and executives.