(NYC industrial/gothic scene magazine)
It is nothing less than chilling. Don’t be fooled. This film, winner of the National Film Board of Canadia’s Best Documentary in 1996 at the International Film Festival in Vancouver, does nothing less than substantiate the prescient place of the NSK and Laibach in the living history of the Balkan states—indeed, in the discourse in Europe over the place of Nationalism. Laibach long played in a warzone mined with icons and myths of Western capitalism and Eastern Communism–to exit not only unscathed, but as secular prophets.
Predictions of Fire documents that very escapade, where aesthetics meet “real politiks” neatly.
Years prior to the genocidal war of “each against all” in Tito’s once steely state of Yugoslavia, Laibach and the NSK collective (Neue Slowenische Kunst, or New Slovenian Art) are shown by Mr. Benson as prognosticators of a schism caused by decades of tug of war between the world’s “great powers.” Benson provides the medium for NSK’s weaving of a tapestry of rich political and cultural images stemming back decades before the oldest of individual members was born, and eerily looking forward into the present chaos unleashed in their homeland. It is a timely application of art criticism (political aesthetics, though with no reference to Lukacs, Horkheimer or Adorno, etc. ) to current events—-even before those events became the currency of Western news media’s sponsorship.
This is the very chilling aspect of Laibach and the NSK. Going back over their manifestos and various artistic productions, the viewer is confrontedwith the reality projected in today’s headlines and news programs. It seems it was no surprise to the NSK. It is, frankly, an absurdly clear vision of today—as seen both through Benson’s lens and NSK/Laibach’s art.
This is a significant film. Perhaps taken no more seriously during the 80’s than Nostradamus may have been in his time, Laibach shown by Benson are provocative journalists and savagely talented artists. One would only hope that this document would help to unglue the paralyzed world opinion on the sad deterioration and self-destruction of Yugoslavia which may presage the death of the West itself.
They were said to take the system more seriously than it took itself, and in the bodycount alone, Laibach was proven correct in historical analysis. Refreshing. Unnerving. Seductive. Fascinating. Provocative.
We must pay heed. Kudos to Benson and to the NSK.