Renzo Martens

the film credits

Episode 1 is the registration of Renzo Martens' activities in Chechnya. He penetrates the war-zone —alone, illegal and carrying a Hi8 camera- and takes on the role of the single most important actor in war: that of the ubiquitous, yet forever undefined, television viewer for whose attention the battles are being fought. Amidst ruins and bombings, he does not ask refugees, UN employees and rebels how they feel. Those stories are well known, and serve no purpose for those who tell them. Instead, he asks them how they think he feels. The film forms a metaphor for an economy of images, roles and emotions. At the same time, there Martens stands, alone, with his camera, recording. The film is not about some external phenomenon, but about the terms and conditions of its own existence.