Remapping the origins / 16mm / 5.1. Sound / 2018 / 42 min


Remapping the origins is an essayistic film about the city of Białystok, a reflection on how to deal with history and memory in a
formerly pluralistic and revolutionary place. On it disappearance it has been worked for a century. A permanent clash of ideologies,
ideas and beliefs. Now, in the 21st century, it seems at first sight, that not much is reminisced of the former working-class city with its large share of Jewish population. Being the birthplace of the two visionaries - Zamenhof and Vertov - the city today is regarded as a place in Europe where the political pressure of the right wing is one of the most obvious. The film brings the legacy of Białystok into the present and links it with current social developments. Thus, Remapping the origins becomes a reflection on the reading of historical events within collective historiography and the culture of commemoration. An essayistic meditation on loss, continuity and progression. A search for traces in a city that could be exemplary stand for more than a city, maybe for Europe, maybe for the future.


Remapping the origins ist ein essayistischer Film über die Stadt Białystok, eine Reflexion über den Umgang mit Geschichte und Erinnerung. Ein ehemals pluralistischer und revolutionarer Ort, an dessen Verschwinden bereits ein Jahrhundert gearbeitet wird. Auf den ersten Blick erinnert im 21. Jahrhundert nicht viel an die damalige Arbeiterstadt mit ihrem großen Anteil an judischer Bevölkerung. Ein fortwährender Brennpunkt von Ideologien. Die Geburtsstätte der beiden Visionäre Zamenhof und Vertov gilt heute als ein Ort Europas, an dem der politische Rechtsruck am Augenscheinlichsten zu Tage tritt. Remapping the origins holt das Vermächtnis von Białystok in die Gegenwart und verknüpft es mit aktuellen gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungen. Der Film ist eine Reflexion über die Lesart von historischen Geschehnissen in der kollektiven Geschichtsschreibung und Gedenkkultur. Eine Spurensuche in einer Stadt, die exemplarisch für mehr als nur eine Stadt stehen könnte, vielleicht für Europa, vielleicht für die Zukunft.


Giona A. Nazzaro - Visions du Reel 2018
"[…] The director creates a multi-layered visual essay that confronts the story of Bialystok with the insurgence of the far right wing parties in Poland today."


DokumentART - Neubrandenburg 2018
"'Remapping the origins' brings the legacy of the city into the present and links it to current developments. The result is an essayistic film about the city of Białystok, a reflection on collective historiography and memory."


Jurystatement - Simon S. Award
"A complex panorama of a Polish city; a film journey, where memory unfolds into a form of resistance. In 'Remapping the Origins' Johannes Gierlinger creates a polyphonic film puzzle in which he records current political trends and raises social issues. The peculiarity of this work lies in the interweaving of unusual, evocative images and reflective words.[…] A film that defies the conventions and principles of filmmaking, captivates through its multiperspectivity and rejects and rearranges connections anew."


Severin Dünser, Curator at Belvedere21
"'Remapping the origins' revolves around the construction of history, individual and collective memory, and resistance, as well as their forms or representation. Gierlinger uses the city as a methaphor for Europe and attempts to expose the inconsistance between nationalism and multiculturalism, reflecting on historical narratives in order to make prospects of the future tangible."


Francesco Cazzin, L´emerge del possibile
"History is important, critical thoughts as well, one hears someone say in the film. But history, critical thoughts, do not pass so much in a representation that is capable to move corpse, in a dance between the 'ghosts of their own history'. In this denial it is the strength of 'Remapping the origins'. […] While the story is re-evoked, a lack of images is gradually formed that does not act as absence, but as a force that works on the image and retract it. From here, and only from this discarding, 'Remapping the origins' finds its own image, an image that lacks steadiness, thus lacks death, but works alive as the negative of force - it is the faceless resistance that transfuse the story."


Reinhard Kriechbaum, DrehPunktKultur
"Johannes Gierlinger is not head-on for purly political statements. At the center of this documentary is the spoken essay in which the selective of each historical perception is made to subject. Historical consideration is always also the fading in and out of certain perspectives."


Alejandro Bachmann, Diagonale Graz, Austria
"An essayistic portrait of a city, Białystok, a search for the origins of a different political order through re-ordering the images in the cinema. Following from Dziga Vertov, Johannes Gierlinger creates a cinematic city that doesn’t exist as such, maybe once did in rudiments in the past, and pos- sibly will in the future—between what has never entirely become established, and what lives on as utopia in people’s minds."


Diagonale Jury Statement
"Happy people, whose story is boring,' it says towards the end of the film.[…] Like a flaneur, the director goes on a search how to handle history and memory. Fleeting street interviews, chance acquaintances, a play about the Jewish past - all the ambivalences of the city contribute to a reordering of the images. With a keen eye, the author skilfully assembles the exuberant, the fragile, the past. An essayistic pictorial work, driven by the question of how we influence history and history influences us. "


Written and directed by Johannes Gierlinger Resarch by Johannes Gierlinger, Karl Wratschko & Aleksandra Kolodziejczyk Sounddesign by Peter Kutin Cinematography and Editing by Johannes Gierlinger Sound by Karl Wratschko & Jan Zischka Modular Synth Sounds by Frank Rottmann Music Recording by Moritz Nahold Production Assistent by Karl Wratschko & Aleksandra Kolodziejczyk Location assistant by Paweł Szarpiący Acting by Ula Chrzanowska Narration by Martin Hemmer Colors by Claudio Santancini Produced by Johannes Gierlinger

Commissioned by CPH:LAB Copenhagen ∣ Supported by Kultur Land Salzburg, Wien Kultur MA7, BKA



∣ Festivals ∣ Screenings ∣

Visions Du Réel Nyon 2018, Switzerland

Documentarist Istanbul 2018, Türkey

Dokufest Prizren 2018, Republic of Kosovo

FIC Valdivia - Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia 2018, Chile

DokuBaku Int. Documentary Film Festival 2018, Azerbaijan

DokumentART Neubrandenburg 2018, Germany

Pravo Ljudski Film Festival Sarajevo, 2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Transcinema Festival Internacional de Cine Lima 2018, Peru

Simon S. Award Screening at Das Kino Salzburg, 2018, Austria

Festival Film Dokumenter Yogyakarta 2018, Indonesia

Diagonale Filmfestival Graz 2019, Austria

Ethnocineca – Inter. Documentary Film Festival Vienna, 2019, Austria (Upcoming)

FilmAmed Documentary Festival 2019, Turkey (Upcoming)


∣ Solo Screening ∣

Balkanroute - Jugend ohne Film Screening Series at Filmhaus Spittelberg, 2019


∣ Exhibition ∣

Belvedere21 - Museum of Contemporary Art, 2019, Austria

Werkleitz Festival - Modell und Ruine, 2019, Germany (Upcoming)


∣ Awards ∣ Prizes ∣

Theodor Körner Förderpreis, Austria, 2018

Simon S. Award, Austria, 2018

Diagonale Film Festival - Best Short Documentary, Austria, 2019