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The Natural History of Destruction

  •   Sergei Loznitsa
  •   Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands

In a quaint peaceful European town, horse-drawn carriages clip-clop along the cobblestone streets, while children enjoy snacks by a Gothic fountain, and an old man plays a folk song on a clarinet. Only later does it become clear that the picturesque scene is one from Nazi Germany—and soon bombs begin raining down, their explosions a flurry of flashes against the night sky. Inspired by W.G. Sebald’s treatise and created entirely from archival footage, The Natural History of Destruction mounts a harrowing critique of the killing of civilian populations during war-time—as seen in the devastation unleashed across both England and Germany during WWII. Ukrainian-raised Cannes-winning filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (Maidan, Donbass) returns to the Festival after last year’s winner Babi Yar. Context with another brilliantly edited, immaculately restored, and exquisitely sound-designed clarion call, as tragically urgent today as the missiles continue to fall.


58th Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo. Learn more…

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Documentary Sponsor

Logo: WTTW (2019)

Documentary Patron

Cynthia Stone Raskin

Event Information

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

  •   112 minutes
AMC River East 21
322 E Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60611 United States


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