13 lives affected by the arms trade converge in a warehouse in Berlin. From around the world, they have come to dramatise and record their personal stories for ‘Situation Rooms’, a show by Berlin-based theatre legends, Rimini Protokoll.
Director, Christine Cynn, continues the exploration of performance and violence begun in ‘The Act of Killing’ (which she co-directed), juxtaposing dramatic re-enactments with unscripted moments of private reflection and backstage conversation between protagonists, from heated exchanges on “collateral damage” to banter about diplomatic picnics at Osama Bin Laden’s abandoned compound.
Each one acts out their story, filming from their own perspective with a handheld device, creating an uncanny environment where everyone is filming all the time. The set is both real and surreal, a maze of factories, battlefields, and boardrooms, where each room simulates a real place in the life of each protagonist. Step through one door and you’re in a street demonstration in Homs, Syria. The next door leads you to a cubicle in San Diego where a drone operator drops bombs on villagers in Waziristan, Pakistan. Go past the Russian engineer in the Iranian nuclear lab and turn left to witness a nine-year old boy in a classroom in Democratic Republic of Congo, being kidnapped to train as a child soldier.
SHOOTING OURSELVES captures the idiosyncratic atmosphere behind the scenes of this futuristic production, where total strangers from across the globe—and the political spectrum—submit themselves to a theatrical world order where all perspectives are equal. Witness the creation of an oddly warm and dysfunctional family bound by weapons and warfare.