Jaschar L Marktanner’s 2014 short “LABEL” features a pair of German women (Kira Mathis and Mary Krasnoperova) giving voice to various seemingly petty grievances over cigarettes and coffee in a café – the caffeine, nicotine, and complaints constituting addictive and what might be considered quintessentially “First World problems”. Cigarettes never last long enough, the coffee cups are too small, and so forth. This man and that man, the women continuously gripe, are bastards and sons of bitches. Nothing, in short, is as they desire it. The viewer is left to speculate: what is the source of this ennui? What, furthermore, informs their apparent loathing of men?
Significantly, the film opens with a quotation from the Austrian author Heimito von Doderer, who for a time espoused National Socialism: “In a good conversation the pauses are as important as the talking itself.” The viewer, then, is invited to find the meaning in what is left unsaid between the two morose conversationalists. Germany, which since 1945 has not been a truly sovereign nation, today more than ever lives under a hostile occupation. The women allude, perhaps unconsciously, to the demographic disaster being perpetrated against their people in their ambiguous talk about “aliens”. A subservient German establishment, publicly represented by Zionist puppets like Chancellor Angela Merkel, has, in its complicity in the implementation of the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan for the dysgenic reconfiguration of Europe, reduced the continent’s once-proud men to powerless and effeminized cuckolds. “Did you just see that wanker?” Krasnoperova asks. “Waitressing is just a job for a true son of a bitch.” “Cigarettes are so crippled,” Mathis observes on the subject of this phallic insufficiency. Germany’s women, moreover, are mere shiksa livestock, a degradation symbolized by Krasnoperova’s nose ring (Jeff Lieberman’s classic short “The Ringer” comes to mind).
Two pictures hung on the wall behind them – a horse and butterfly – are images representative of the natural order, free and beautiful archetypes of masculine and feminine actualization that contrast with the morbid and sterile reality of the generic urban setting. “That’s how them up there want to keep things rolling,” Krasnoperova says with reference to an unnamed and remote elite. “Holding us pawns down.” “Just some real sons of a bitch,” agrees Mathis. “Yeah, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Krasnoperova continues. “Something must be done about that,” the other declares. “Yeah, but there are only spazzes. What is there left to do?” At this point the two women indict the audience in its complaisance by breaking the fourth wall and glaring directly into the camera.
Once the waiter approaches and asks if everything was alright, however, the women instantly change their tune, feigning smiles and reassuring him that “everything was great.” The pair finds themselves constrained by Europeans’ pathological sense of propriety – the self-destructive determination not to be the cause of offense. “What a freak,” Krasnoperova says of him after he goes away. “Just a typical victim of the society of sons of a bitch,” diagnoses Mathis. Notwithstanding their discontent and the impending death of their civilization, they cannot bring themselves to address problems openly. Like Marktanner himself, they find means of communicating under regimes of censorship. The status quo, however, if continued to fester and to dismantle their civilization, will start to present Europeans with fewer First World problems than quandaries of the Third World variety.
4 out of 5 stars.