The Devil Knows



We combine high-resolution stills and eroded vintage live-action imagery overlayed via compositing and animation to create neo-noir vignettes. These vignettes thus suggest two sides of a story simultaneously; they build tension, hinting at malice and conflict in the beginning, then slowly build up to reveal two Demjanjuk’s. These are our doppelgängers: John Demjanjuk, the American union member and auto-worker, and Ivan Demjanjuk, the WWII concentration camp guard. The Devil Knows is the story of John Demjanjuk, a UAW member and Brook Park resident employed in a Ford factory as a diesel engine mechanic.


We begin with John Demjanjuk’s backstory in America. These first scenes reference a grand industrial American Dream of the 1960s and 1970s with imagery specific to Brook Park and Cleveland. We are referring to the blue-collar dream of the ’60s & ’70s, the Rust-Belt dream, a moment in American history when large-scale postwar automobile manufacturing came with the promise of steady industrial work. The result was a prosperous suburban life built around unions, factories, steel, and automobiles.


Once we finish exploring the America of this era, we introduce imagery of Ivan Demjanjuk, the concentration camp guard. We montage high-resolution imagery and vintage archival selects from WWII to explore the doppelgänger, Demjanjuk. Many of these second-half vignettes blend imagery from the Industrial America story and the Nazi story to further explore the Film Noir duality of this story.