Our cinema documentation illuminates the stage play „the last days of mankind“ in the staging of Paulus Manker. The stage play plays originally in the time oft he first world war and is a mixture of statements from different personalities of various social layers. Karl Kraus intention is to convey us the brutality and the crime aside the military front in the middle of the life of austrian citizens. Among other things he also shows clearly the manipulative role of the journalists. Our movie shows sections of the performances in the „Serbenhalle“ in „Wiener Neustadt“, as well as interviews with the actors, journalists, Karl- Kraus experts and historians.
To understand World War I, says Karl Kraus expert Katharina Prager, you should have seen or read the play "The Last Days of Mankind." To understand how Europe and then the world slid into this war, one should listen to the historians - nevertheless, today we are perplexed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which brought war to Europe once again, barely 100 years after the First World War.
In his film essay, Wolfgang Ritzberger looks at the frightening parallels between the time before the outbreak of the First World War and the Russia-Ukraine conflict of the present day.
Historians and military experts agree: history does not repeat itself, but it follows the same patterns. Just as in 1914 no one could have guessed that in a few years Austria-Hungary, i.e. the Danube Monarchy, and the German Empire would cease to exist, today the question arises: Are we once again on the brink of a global conflict?
Scenes from the play The Last Days of Mankind, filmed at performances in the Wiener Neustädter Serbenhalle, illustrate how much the patterns of the past are repeating themselves today.