The Angel of History

Der Engel der Geschichte

There has never been a document of culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism.

19. Flensburger Kurzfilmtage, Flensburg, Germany (2019) – Best Non-Fiction

German Short Film Association (2020) – Catalogue of 100 exceptional current German short films

Short of the Year, Madrid, Spain (2020) – Special Jury Mention


Availability &
Screening Time:

400 tickets


Eric Esser





Running Time:

11 min



In The Angel of History, filmmaker Eric Esser visits a remote border between France and Spain, which was historically used to smuggle goods between the two countries. There he reflects upon the life of Walter Benjamin, the famous German-Jewish philosopher, who used this route to escape German-occupied France in 1940. Esser references Benjamin’s admiration for Paul Klee’s painting, Angelus Novus, an artwork Benjamin once described as the “angel of history”. As the angel appears to have been battered by history, so too does the filmmaker look upon old photographs of the locations he visits with a weary eye, fearful that Europe’s future may mirror its past.

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