Police Within Reach
September 12, 2014 3:11 PM   Subscribe

 
Big Kubrick fans, I guess?
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:22 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Like Mad Men only terrifying.
posted by Fizz at 3:23 PM on September 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow, that is all very Brazil.
posted by selfnoise at 3:31 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The bucket to shit in costs extra.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 3:35 PM on September 12, 2014


Excellent examples of the banality of evil, for the most part. Most of these shots remind me greatly of the interiors of the offices various developing-world government agencies (having nothing to do with law enforcement) where I've had the privilege of being bored out of my mind either waiting around for or listening to the posturing of some tinpot oligarch whose seal of approval I need in order to do my work. They reek of petty power politics, insecurity, bureaucratic gridlock, and lack of imagination. I can imagine that for most people, working for the Stasi was just a job. For a few--the ones running it, most likely--it was an expression of their personal power and their desire to control other people. A poisonous mixture that permeates government offices almost everywhere.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh hey, it's another culture's discarded nightmare!
posted by The Whelk at 3:52 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, isn't it?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:00 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


This reminded me of the offices from UFO, which has the best intro and theme song ever.
posted by emptythought at 4:03 PM on September 12, 2014


It's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, isn't it?

Derail: the interiors for those films were so well crafted. I wanted to dive into the screen.
posted by Fizz at 4:14 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


I absolutely recommend the Stasi Museum should you visit Berlin. Fascinating, horrifying and oddly stylish.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's that banal color of yellow-white that always pervades these institutions. I spent a summer class in a soon-to-be demolished high school, and the walls, floors, and ceilings were all that shade of yellow. Somewhat pacifying in the way it just made your brain leak out of your ear. I couldn't wait to leave.
posted by msbutah at 4:16 PM on September 12, 2014


Uber Men
posted by Cosine at 4:18 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's like Wes Anderson designed a prison....
posted by schmod at 4:19 PM on September 12, 2014 [14 favorites]


I absolutely love this. Thanks for posting
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 5:03 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wish I could see the North Korean counterparts to these rooms. I'm re-reading the Inspector O series and I'm imagining rooms like this but dingier.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:10 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Big Kubrick fans, I guess?

Larry, just between you and me, we got a very serious problem with the people taking care of the place. They turned out to be completely unreliable assholes insufficiently revolutionary.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:13 PM on September 12, 2014


I can smell the bleach and plastic reeking through those photos.
posted by arcticseal at 8:25 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I highly recommend The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen). It was the 2006 best foreign language Oscar winner.
posted by sevenless at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]



I absolutely recommend the Stasi Museum should you visit Berlin. Fascinating, horrifying and oddly stylish

CREEPIEST. MUSEUM. EVER. And located in an area of town where you totally escape to be grabbed by unseen agents from the shadow of the rail station.

Two things got me: One was the footage they took where they had to obscure faces, so people (usually women) went through each frame scratching out the faces so when it played it was like there was a horrible mutating cloud over their features.

2) A guy they followed for weeks cause they thought he was using a drop box location during lunch cause he always ate the same spot. Tore the place up, followed him, bugged him and opened his mail to find out ..he liked eating lunch at that one spot.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The torture room is terrible and terrifying but all the rooms: you can feel the ghosts of people's suffering through the screen.
posted by latkes at 11:16 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Stasi-Gefängnis Hohenschönhausen, where some of the photos were taken, is open to visitors, and they offer tours in German, English and several other languages. Many of the tours are guided by former inmates. I visted a few months ago and attended a tour guided by a woman who was incarcerated there for two years. Her crime? Traveling to Prague on holiday and meeting someone from West Germany. Visiting Hohenschönhausen and seeing the horrible soundproof cells in the cellar is almost as sickening as visiting a concentration camp.
posted by amf at 5:45 AM on September 13, 2014


I also recommend the Museum in the Round Corner in Leipzig, the former Stadium headquarters.
posted by brujita at 7:27 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seconding brujita's recommendation. Extremely powerful.
posted by wintermind at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2014


As part of my post-graduate diploma, we went on a field trip to Hamburg and Berlin in 1992. We were lodged in a youth hostel that was more like a tower block in East Berlin during our time there.

I can't remember what part of East Berlin it was but I do remember some of us walking round the immediate neighbourhood and coming across a vast wall with a watchtower that was clearly not occupied but not yet in a state of disrepair. It was quiet and eerie and out of place even in the weird series of anomalies that was Berlin at that time. It was tall, much taller than the wall to a private estate would be, and made of pale concrete and the tower was huge to my eyes.

To cap it all, coming from a country where private housing was the norm, I had been overwhelmed by the enormous, slab-sided government-built housing blocks that dominated the landscape in the East. Alongside this wall and watchtower (which someone in the know later confirmed was a Stasi prison) was a couple of roads of private housing - semi-detached pairs of houses with little front gardens. These were apparently where the employees of the prison would live, so they didn't have to mingle with their targets I suppose.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 9:47 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


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