(Not So) Difficult Heritage (Anymore). On Documenting Nuremberg’s Transforming Nazi Party Rally Grounds (EN)

In a highly controversial move, the infamous Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg, Germany’s largest preserved Nazi monument complex, is slated to become a large-scale cultural centre and the interim home of the city’s opera house. Together with the ambitious renovation of significant monuments on the site – the Zeppelin Field and Zeppelin Tribune – these plans, some of which are already underway, constitute the most extensive overhaul of the Nazi complex since its initial construction in the early 1930s.

Disconcerted by this plan, filmmaker Gilad Baram and composer-artist Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari – both Israelis of Jewish-European descent who emigrated to Berlin over a decade ago – embark on a film project that aims to scrutinize the rally grounds, both as a physical site of architectural transformation and as a metaphoric site of societal and cultural shifts vis-a-vis Germany’s National Socialist heritage, and a re-awakening national identity. Over the course of five years, they immersed themselves in recording the rapidly changing complex, focusing on the multiple public usages of its structures, on its architectural renewal and repurposing and on the people inhabiting and working in and around its spaces. Provisionally titled “Making Good Again”, their documentary feature film is planned to premiere in 2026, shortly after the grand premiere of Nuremberg’s relocated opera house.

Tying together personal and collective narratives, “Making Good Again” evokes a set of fundamental questions concerning the role played by monuments in the (re)construction of historical narratives. Has Germany succeeded in “coming to terms with its past”? What does intergenerational responsibility regarding WWII and the Holocaust require and what are the consequences of a lack thereof? What role does guilt play in German society nowadays, if at all? And finally, is redemption possible in Germany; or, in other words, could ‘bad’ be made ‘good’ (again)?

The lecture-screening will include exclusive excerpts from the filmmakers’ work-in-progress and insights into the artistic research and creative process of this long-duration production.