Berlin, 1945; Grozny, 2000; Aleppo, 2016


Michael Kimmelman writes: The destruction is so complete that it obliterates even a sense of time. At a glance, the video could show Berlin in 1945 or Grozny, 2000. Mass death erases all distinctions.

The place is Aleppo, Syria, the al-Mashhad district, or what remains of it after recent attacks by Syrian government forces and their Russian allies. Toppled rooftop satellite dishes, choked by plaster dust, resemble wilted flowers. Figures move through the pulverized rubble but are hard to make out.

“Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?” Harry Lime asked on the Ferris wheel in “The Third Man,” the classic noir film set in postwar Vienna. This is drone footage, after all, shot from the same detached, superior perspective of the bombers who committed this atrocity in the name of fighting non-jihadist rebels. The video was made to document the devastation and bear witness, but it inevitably reduces people on the streets to Lime’s dots. [Continue reading…]

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