With its image axis repeatedly tilting and tipping out of frame, DEPTH OF FIELD examines three places in the German city of Nuremberg haunted by and struggling against the memory of racist murders committed there by a far-right terrorist group between 2000 and 2005.
A flower stand, a tailor shop, a snack car: three places in the German city of Nuremberg that became crime scenes when the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), a far-right terrorist group, murdered three independent business owners with migrant backgrounds between 2000 and 2005. These three places struggle with memory and shock, as they become the windows into a city whose axis repeatedly tilts and tips out of frame.
The camera, using a tripod head with a 360 degree pan and tilt range, orbits as it observes the abysmal depth of these racially motivated crimes, contextualizing the scenes of the crimes in terms of their surroundings, and showing how they are used and re-used today. The off-screen commentary describes ordinary scenes and encounters, interweaving them with compressed fragments of information from racist media coverage and murder investigations. These investigations were without exception directed against the victims themselves and their family members, ignoring hints and statements by the witnesses suggesting white and presumably racist perpetrators. The investigating authorities began to face criticism only after it was confirmed that the NSU had committed at least ten murders and three bombing attacks in seven German cities between 1998 and 2011. The circumstances of these crimes still remain unresolved.
The film traces the shocks of these attacks by examining the places as witnesses in their own right.