Berlin – The Passage of Time (film version)

Synopsis: A glance to the city of Berlin through a series of scenes including amongst others the BertoltBrechtplatz, the Schlotzplatz, the Postdamerplatz, and the WalterBenjaminplatz. Those scenes are centred on the flow of daily life in the city. Simultaneously, in different manners, they refer to different episodes of the recent history of Berlin, from Weimar to the Second World War, to the current reconstruction of large areas around Alexanderplatz, including also the «wall», the 1948  Berlin blockade and the DDR monumental Palace of the republic. Two Berliners intellectual personalities who are dear to me dominate the film, Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin who had a common refugee fate during WW 2. The project is constructed around some benjaminian themes, like the image of the passer-by, the concept of dialectic image and allegory, and a singular way of understanding the flow of history and the relationship between past and present. This is the film version of a video installation of 2013, with new shooting done in 2018.


Festivals and projections : world premiere at Festival du nouveau cinéma, Montreal, 2018; retrospective at the Tehran International Animation Festival, March 2024.

vidéo extract

Direction, shooting, animation, editing, drawing : Pierre Hébert

Music : John Barrett

Musical fragments : René Lussier

Animation assistant : Clémence Renaud-Allaire

Sound mix : Luc Boudrias


text: Places and Monuments and Berlin.