july 2020, arsenal cinema

The next stage is here!

Since July 1st, the Arsenal cinema at Potsdamer Platz has re-opened its doors to the public.

Alongside our activities on the Internet (arsenal 3), in exhibition space (arsenal 4 at silent green) and outside in the open air (arsenal 5 at HKW), we are very happy to be able to offer a program at our original location after a closure period of three and a half months and once again use our cinemas as a public space for shared experiences. As always, the Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective forms part of this year’s double program for July and August – and yet this is no ordinary summer. The Corona pandemic continues, its effects on social, cultural, and political practices can be clearly felt, and its economic consequences are grave. We are experiencing a veritable turning point – and the future is still unclear, something that will have to be managed and adapted to based on an ongoing process. With this mind, the sort of contemporary cinema practice we offer will have to remain flexible and develop step by step. Our streaming area arsenal 3 will form a fixed part of this process and continue as a “footnote cinema”, with films screened there to supplement the programs showing at Arsenal 1 and 2.

Due to the fragility of the current situation and Arsenal’s economic difficulties based on a lack of revenue, we are starting our cinema operations in reduced form to begin with: four evenings a week (Wednesday to Saturday) at Arsenal 1, with a seating capacity of around 70 due to Corona. You can find the program here. It’s the film series we had to interrupt in March that we are now continuing: alongside the program to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Berlinale Forum, this means primarily the “Black Light” retrospective that Greg de Cuir Jr. curated for last year’s Locarno Film Festival. Our selection of 13 films focused on Black American cinema stretches from 1919 to 1991 and has not lost any of its topicality over the last weeks; on the contrary, in fact.

july 2020, arsenal cinema

arsenal 5 at HKW – Heading Outside

July 16 — August 23 2020

The final stage in a series of experiments with the cinema space during the pandemic leads Arsenal to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. As is the case with arsenal 3 (on the Internet) and arsenal 4 (at silent green), the arsenal 5 program consists almost exclusively of films from the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art collection.


Cinema is a place of possibility and action, also in the open air. For 6 weeks, the films join us on a trip out-side: we head off to collect images in landscapes that have fallen victim to tourism. We unearth images from the ground and from the archives to take them to where they can tell stories. We observe animals who cast a critical gaze at us in return. We explore and traverse the desert as a resonance chamber. And last, but not least, we investigate the inner workings of our host institution as a stage and production site.

A few highlights will bring the program to an end: Ricky Shayne will perform live to coincide with the screen-ing of Stephan Geene’s Film SHAYNE. We will also be presenting a world premiere in the form of Michael Busch’s HOW LONG IS NOW. And finally, archive expert Vaginal Davis and her partner Daniel Hendrickson invite audiences to the final edition of their “Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome” series!

july 2020, arsenal cinema

arsenal 3 – Continuing with a New Concept from August 1st

First a members’ platform, then a temporary online cinema: at the start of the lockdown in mid-March, we swiftly retooled our streaming service for Arsenal members first founded last autumn into a publicly accessible virtual cinema. Over the last 14 weeks, seven programs each consisting of around 20 films from our collection were presented – we were just as overwhelmed by the solidarity shown by the filmmakers who made their works available to us as we were by the public attention and enthusiasm generated by the platform. We were also very happy to host the film program “Latitude – Camera Memory for Human Forgetfulness” curated by Karina Griffith as part of the Latitude Festival put on by the Goethe-Institut.

arsenal 3 was our immediate reaction to the closing of the Arsenal 1 & 2 cinemas at Potsdamer Platz and the virtual cinema space was an experiment for us – one worked on by many, supported by many (and not just via donations) and which brought together many cinemagoers – a true community project!

june 2020, arsenal cinema

Online Tickets

Online tickets for Arsenal screenings avalaible here.

arsenal cinema: THE DEFA Foundation presents

07:00 pm Cinema 2

Joris Ivens – Er filmte auf 5 Kontinenten


Joris Ivens – Er filmte auf 5 Kontinenten
Joachim Hadaschik GDR 1963 35 mm 23 min
Windsbraut Daniela Schulz Germany 1998 BetaSP 30 min

Günter Jordan in person Moderated by Ralf Schenk
arsenal cinema: Time and memory: The cinema of Terence Davies

08:00 pm Cinema 1

Sunset Song

Sunset Song UK 2015
DCP OV 135 min

arsenal cinema: THE DEFA Foundation presents

09:00 pm Cinema 2

Die Abenteuer des Till Ulenspiegel

Die Abenteuer des Till Ulenspiegel
Gérard Philipe, Joris Ivens France/GDR 1956
35 mm German Version 87 min